Mount Eden Vineyards is a small, historic wine estate located on a 2000 foot peak in the Santa Cruz Mountain Appellation, about 15 miles from the Pacific Ocean. Founded in 1945, it is recognized as one of the original boutique California Winery properties, focusing on small lots of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Cabernet Sauvignon. The Mount Eden Vineyard has been continuously producing estate bottled Pinot Noir and Chardonnay longer than anyone else in California. Planted in austere, infertile Franciscan shale on a cool, exposed mountaintop, the low-yielding vineyards have consistently produced world class wines for over 50 years. Winemaker and Proprietor Jeffrey Patterson has been making wine at Mount Eden since 1981. His low yielding hillside vineyards are sustainable and dry farmed. Fermentation is done with native yeasts and fining and filtering is minimal if at all. The winery is completely solar powered.
James Laube on Mount Eden: “IS MOUNT EDEN CALIFORNIA’S GREATEST VINEYARD? Every time I have a great aged Mount Eden wine – which is most of the time – I’m in awe of how well it develops. This is a unique property in the sense that all three of the major grapes grown there – Cabernet, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir – not only are distinctive and classy, but they age incredibly well. Suppose if one were to only collect wine from one vineyard, Mount Eden would be a tough choice to beat.”
Eric Asimov on Mount Eden: “Mount Eden refuses to conform to the stylistic demands of today’s market, which emphasize power, lush fruit flavors and immediate gratification over nuance, minerality and balance. The cabernets are more sinewy and lean than rich and concentrated. The pinot noir, which is made in very small quantities, is light-bodied and graceful rather than sweet and plush. And, rather than flavors of oak, butterscotch, tropical fruit and popcorn, the Chardonnay offers captivating texture and subtle flavors wound around a core of lively acidity. It takes time to unravel, sometimes many years, which puts Mount Eden in the company of great historic California chardonnay producers like Stony Hill and Hanzell.”
Robert Parker on Mount Eden: “This iconic winery continues to offer wines with personalities and styles that set them apart (especially the estate wines) from just about anything else readers will taste from California.”
“The Domaine Eden Cabernet program is a combination of Bordeaux varieties, mainly Cabernet Sauvignon from Mount Eden, Domaine Eden and three exquisite sites in Saratoga and Los Gatos. It is a true Bordeaux blend encompassing the top five Bordeaux grapes varieties: Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot with small additions of Petit Verdot and Malbec. We practice the Mount eden parameters of low yields, maximum maturity and cool climate viticulture to achieve balanced ripeness.
We ferment the lots separately using natural fermentations and French oak. Aging this wine to maturity for two years, we do not fine or filter prior to bottling, just like our Estate regime. The ultimate goal is a classic Santa Cruz Mountain Cabernet reflecting our mid-appellation region.
While the Estate is a singular voice, the Domaine is a chorus. Complex, given the five varieties in the cepage, this Cabernet has aromas of briary currant, sage, mint and sweet oak. Less tannis and acidity on the palate than is evident in the Estate, there is an earlier window of enjoyable drinking.”
Review Score: 91