2019 Domaine Eden, Pinot Noir, Santa Cruz Mountains.
Tasted blind, I found this dark ruby hued wine to be beautiful, pure and silky, maybe obviously a California or new world wine, it showed a distinctive earthiness and complexity that you’d expect from a Burgundy with restrained oak use and a nice lift of acidity, making it a fabulous Pinot Noir, very enjoyable and complete now and in the short term, a very impressive showing for the “Baby” Mount Eden. Satiny layers of black cherry, spiced plum, red currant and grilled orange fruits unfold sublimely on the medium bodied and richly flavored palate along with baking spices, black tea, light savory elements, mineral tones and a pretty floral rose petal dimension, lingering on with a hint of wild mushroom and an echoing of kirsch. When in doubt, this wine is always the answer and a savvy bargain, it gives a lot for the asking price it satisfies the core desires of any Pinot lover, dollar for dollar it is one of the best wines for the money in California, and it hints at the greatness of the top Estate bottling here at the famous Mount Eden. The legendary winemaker Jeffery Patterson and family make their Domaine Eden Pinot just like the Mount Eden Estate wine with natural indigenous fermentation(s), gentle maceration(s) and employing French Burgundy barrels for aging, with as Patterson adds, no fining, filtration or any other manipulation, to allow terroir and the house style to shine thorough. Mount Eden is now part of Slow Wine that highlights organic and authentic wineries worldwide and second generation winemaker Reid Patterson has joined his father in the cellar setting up a smooth transition here to the future, certainly guaranteeing continued quality and tradition here.

This Domaine Eden Pinot Noir comes from, as the winery says, a mosaic of different selections and clones grown at the Domaine Eden property and includes modern Dijon clones 777, 667 and 828 that reside alongside the historic California selections planted here, with of course the Mount Eden clone, as well as Calera and Swan clones. Patterson notes that each of these parcels are farmed to Mount Eden’s strict standards of sustainability, dry farming and low yields, which make this wine so compelling and such an exceptional value, especially in vintages like 2018 and this delicious and supple 2019. As noted here and beyond, Mount Eden, originally founded by Martin Ray, is perched at 2000 feet overlooking Silicon Valley in the Santa Cruz Mountain Appellation, not far from Saratoga, about 50 miles south of San Francisco with Franciscan shale soils and set on a cool, exposed mountaintop. Originally founded back in 1945, the Mount Eden estate is recognized as one of the original “boutique” California winery properties, focusing on small lots of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon, which are all highly coveted and age worthy wines. Mount Eden’s fame really became a reality under Jeffery Patterson, who effectively took over the estate and winemaking in 1981, he and his wife Ellie rejuvenated the property and have produced some of California’s most iconic wines. In 2007 the Patterson’s purchased the former Cinnabar estate, a neighboring mountain side vineyard, which has become the source for the Domaine Eden bottlings like this one. Over the years I’ve grown more and more fond of Mount Eden and their set of wines, especially as mentioned, the Estate offerings, but these Domaine Eden wines, easier on the wallet, have definitely got better and better over the years and I highly recommend them.
($40 Est.) 92 Points, grapelive

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