In the late 1940’s and early 1960’s, Martin Ray planted six acres of Chardonnay vines propagated from a Burgundian selection grown in the famous Paul Masson vineyard. Twenty acres of estate Chardonnay are now farmed at Mount Eden. Yields are far below the average for Chardonnay in California.
The estate vineyard is harvested when fruit is just slightly yellow to yellow-green in hue and pressed without crushing. Juice is barrel-fermented in new and one-year-old French Burgundy barrels, where the wine undergoes full malolactic fermentation and is ages on the lees for ten months before being lightly filtered and bottled. The Chardonnay then rests in the cellar for two years before release.
“The 2017 Chardonnay melds together the natural raciness of the year with the classicism that is such a Mount Eden signature. Lemon confit, white flowers, mint and tropical accents give the 2017 its flashy, racy personality and yet on the palate the wine is quite structured and very nicely proportioned. The 2017 finishes with tremendous weight, oiliness and aromatic intensity. It can be enjoyed now or cellared for at least a few years. Today, it is absolutely fabulous. New oak is 50%.”
94 points, Antonio Galloni, vinous.com, Sept 2020
“Jeffrey and Ellie Patterson’s Mount Eden vineyard is a trove of heritage vines, including descendants of the chardonnay cuttings Paul Masson brought from Burgundy in the early 1900s to plant at his La Cresta Vineyard just to the south. The current generation of vines that bore the Mount Eden clone were planted in the 1990s, today yielding a small, concentrated crop that Patterson transforms into an elegant, substantial and complex chardonnay. His 2017 has shape and structure: It’s meaty and rich up front, tingling with lemon clarity and red-apple-skin freshness in the end. Wielding power without any sense of alcohol or heat, this vintage has a great future ahead.”
94 points, Wine & Spirits, Oct 2020