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Mount Eden Vineyards
April 17, 2017
Mount Eden Vineyards
Santa Cruz Mountains
“Mount Eden Vineyards […] is an almost forgotten treasure. One of the most historical wine places in California, it became one of the best-known vineyards in the United States for outstanding varietal wines from grapes like Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, at a time when most American wines were field blends. Today, without reaching for the spotlight, Jeffrey Patterson still crafts wonderful wines in a classic style and prices them far lower than what comparable wines from other regions bring. I have drunk forty-year-old Pinot Noirs from this property that were positively extraordinary, and the Cabernets are even better.”
Rajat Parr, “Secrets of the Sommelier”, 2010
Mount Eden Vineyards is a small, historic wine estate perched at 600 metres above Silicon Valley in the Santa Cruz Mountain appellation, about 50 miles south of San Francisco. Founded in 1945 by Martin Ray, it is recognized as one of California’s original “boutique” winery properties. It focuses on small lots of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Cabernet Sauvignon.
Mount Eden’s lineage of estate-bottled Chardonnay and Pinot Noir is the longest in California. Planted in sparsely nutritious Franciscan shale on a cool, exposed mountaintop, these low-yielding estate vineyards have consistently produced world-class wines for over a half-century. Their Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the great values in American Cab.
Their sister property, Domaine Eden, is a nearby mountaintop wine estate purchased by Mount Eden in 2007. It was founded and built by the late Tom Mudd in 1983, and was initially planted with the Mount Eden clone selections of Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon, which evolved to include Pinot Noir from various Dijon and California selections.
The viticulture at Domaine Eden is approached with the same level of environmental stewardship and sustainability as Mount Eden’s estate vineyards. The soils here, however, are different from the estate’s Franciscan shale, so even though Domaine Eden is a mere mile away “as the crow flies”, the wines express more varietal fruit with expansive mid-palate flavours than the soil-driven minerality of Mount Eden estate wines.
Domaine Eden wines are for drinking now and in the mid-term, say, six to eight years. Mount Eden wines are all built for the cellar, but if you like your wines intense and youthfully taut and tannic, open and decant them now for an amazing drinking experience.
“There is no doubt in my mind the Santa Cruz Mountains is the greatest and most overlooked terroir in the United States. Period. From the famed Bordeaux influenced reds produced at Ridge and other nearby estates to the extraordinary, age worthy Chardonnays and Pinots of Mount Eden … No other region offers the same mix of history, innovation and what appears to be virtually unlimited potential. To be sure, these hillside sites are capricious and hard to work with. But they are also capable of producing riveting, emotional, world-class wines.”
Antonio Galloni, vinous.com, August 2012
“The lifeblood of owners Jeffrey and Ellie Patterson, this tiny winery in Saratoga is one of California’s underappreciated treasures. Mount Eden is a labor of love.”
We are taking reservations for these wines now. You can expect arrival in 10 to 12 weeks. We have over 300 wines available at all times, many of which are in short supply and not available at LCBO stores.
“Domaine Eden’s 2013 Chardonnay is subtle, poised and gracious to the core. Dried pear, dried flowers, sage, mint and chamomile grace the palate in this understated, exquisite Chardonnay. Hints of smoke, slate and dried pear reappear on the super-classic, expressive finish. What a gorgeous wine this is. Quite simply, the 2013 Domaine Eden Chardonnay is a tremendous wine for the money. In 2013, the blend is approximately 72% declassified Mt. Eden juice and 28% wine from the Domaine Eden estate proper.”
93 points, Antonio Galloni, vinous.com, July 2016
“Extremely refreshing and lovely on the nose, this slightly lower-priced bottling from the Mount Eden team shows nectarine, crisp pluot, cherimoya flesh and the lightest hint of Key-lime zest on the nose. The structure on the sip is intense, with stony crushed-concrete elements and flavours of lime rind, cold Gala apple and gunmetal.”
93 points, Wine Enthusiast, November 2016
“50 Best Wines under $50 (USD) to Buy in 2017” – Bloomberg.com
“One of the greatest Chardonnays made in California each vintage, this bottling blends riper elements of yellow peach and honey with the tension of tangerine rind and pink-grapefruit pith on the nose. The palate is very energetic and tangy, with orange peels, crushed sea shells and a touch of salt hanging from an extremely well-chiseled structure.”
95 points, Wine Enthusiast, Nov 2016
“The 2013 vintage has produced an outstanding young example of Estate Chardonnay here at Mount Eden, and this looks likely to be one of the great long-distance runners in recent times for this age-worthy bottling. The wine is still young and quite tightly-knit on both the nose and palate, but with the depth and racy spine of acidity to age beautifully. The still quite primary bouquet offers up scents of pear, white peach, fresh almond, stony soil tones, vineyard flowers and still a fair bit of buttery new wood. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, vibrant and focused, with an outstanding core of fruit, lovely soil signature, a fine structural spine and excellent bounce and grip on the long, nascently complex and impeccably balanced finish. This is still a puppy and is still in the midst of absorbing its new wood, but all of the constituent components are in place for the 2013 vintage to be one of the great classic Estate Chardonnay bottlings in the history of Mount Eden. The wine is already quite delicious, but it is still very early days for this wine and I would not even consider opening a bottle out of my cellar for at least another four or five years! 2020+2045+”
94 points, John Gilman, “View from the Cellar”, July/August 2016
“Pure silk on the palate, the 2013 Chardonnay Estate offers textbook notes of buttered apples, brioche, toasted bread and hints of minerality to go with medium to full-bodied richness, beautiful purity of fruit, no hard edges and impeccable balance. It’s beautiful today, but should evolve gracefully for at least 5-6 years. 2016-2022.”
94 points, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, Oct 2016
The 2014 has not been reviewed, but the 2013 received the following:
“While this wine’s Mount Eden sister bottling may better stand the test of time, the Domaine Eden is what most people will most like to drink right now, and it’s cheaper too. Aromas of dried violets, uncrushed boysenberries and pencil lead make for an ethereal nose that seems to hold secrets one must uncover. Precise tannins on the palate offer floral yet savoury flavours of black sesame, nori, violet and mulberry. It’s mellow yet mysterious.”
95 points and #9 Wine of the Year, Wine Enthusiast, Dec 2016
“Sporting a deeper ruby colour, the 2013 Pinot Noir bottled under the Domaine Eden label has a terrific bouquet of black currants, dried spices, forest floor and dried herbs/hay. Rich, nicely textured, balanced and polished on the palate, with a great texture, drink this charming, outstanding, polished and layered beauty over the coming 5-7 years. It’s another terrific value from this estate.”
91 points, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, Oct 2016
“The 2013 Pinot Noir Estate is one of the stars from the appellation, and the vintage. Offering fabulous notes of black cherries, currants, crushed rocks and sous bois, this beauty hits the palate with medium to full-bodied richness, building tannin and a killer finish. This is a sensational Pinot Noir that can be enjoyed today, or cellared for a decade or more.”
96 points, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, Oct 2016
“This wine is wound extremely tight, but opens like a lotus with decanting or overnight patience. Aromas of rose buds, black-raspberry extract, wet clay and dried purple flowers show on the nose, bolstered by the slightest smoky kiss of oak. Savoury flavours of roasted black-plum skins and elderberry meet with soy, graphite and loam on the palate, which will gain amazing tertiary flavours with time. Drink 2018-2028.”
95 points and “Cellar Selection”, Wine Enthusiast, Dec 2016
“Mount Eden’s 2013 Pinot Noir is going to need at least a few years to come into its own. Dense and powerful, yet also very tightly wound, the 2013 is in no mood to show all of its cards. Still, the intensity of the vintage is impossible to miss. The 35% whole clusters are nearly buried by the sheer intensity of the fruit. This ample, large-scaled Pinot will reward those who wait. I will not be surprised if the 2013 is even better in another few years, as it holds considerable promise.”
94+ points, Antonio Galloni, vinous.com, July 2016
“The very soon to be released Mount Eden Cabernet Sauvignon is an absolutely classic in the making. It is a tad less ripe than the lovely 2011 version, coming in at an even thirteen percent octane and offering up a very pure and nascently complex bouquet of black cherries, a touch of eucalyptus, cigar wrapper, dark soil tones, lavender and a nice, judicious framing of nutty new wood. On the palate the wine is pure, full-bodied and rock solid at the core, with excellent focus and grip, ripe, seamless tannins and outstanding length on the very refined, youthful and impeccably balanced finish. This is an old school bottle of Cabernet in the very best sense of the term, with great potential that is simply waiting for the passing of time to blossom and shine. But, it is properly structured out of the blocks and will need time in the cellar to start to really drink with generosity. It should prove to be very long-lived, once it reaches its plateau of maturity. 2025-2075+.”
95+ points, John Gilman, “View From the Cellar”, July/Aug 2016
“Extremely elegant and restrained at first on the nose, this bottling eventually shows gravel and crushed rocks, with hints of blackberry and forest underbrush also emerging. A very firm structure weaves together an incredibly well-integrated wine, with dense mulberry and dried-fennel notes that morph into crushed herbs with time. Drink 2018-2032.”
95 points and “Cellar Selection”, Wine Enthusiast, Dec 2016
“The 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon is a rich, intense wine that tastes much riper than the 13% stated on the label. Black cherry jam, plum, game, mocha, licorice and dark spices are all pushed forward. I would prefer to give the 2012 at least a few years in bottle to shed some baby fat.”
94 points, Antonio Galloni, vinous.com, July 2016
“Rich, ripe and seductive palate with sweet, intense fruit of considerable purity. This has finesse, line and poise, and good acidity on the finish. Classically structured.”
93 points and “Highly Recommended”, Decanter Feb 2016