2017 Mount Eden Vineyards, Pinot Noir, Estate, Santa Cruz Mountains.
The dark ruby colored and richly flavored 2017 Mount Eden Estate Pinot Noir is silky and ripe, this is exactly what you’d expect and want in such an iconic California wine with gorgeous layers of black cherry, plum and raspberry fruits along with tea spices, dried rose petals, smoky/toasty oak framing and blood orange accents. This medium/full bodied effort from Jeffery Patterson is showing fabulous right now, it was one of the stars of this year’s Slow Wine event in San Francisco and it looks like it will age very nicely, providing outstanding quality and depth, gaining complexity with every sip. In the more modern era of Mount Eden Vineyards, as I have noted here, Jeffrey Patterson, a traditional winegrower (vigneron) has made this historic estate one of California’s absolute best labels. This wine from the Saratoga area of the Santa Cruz Mountains is one of the state’s Grand Cru Pinots, joining legends like Rochioli, Williams Selyem, Joseph Swan, Calera and Hanzell, with this vintage impressing for its deep fruit density and energy, it is a very rewarding wine.

The famed Martin Ray originally planted Pinot Noir vines here at Mount Eden in 1945, with the budwood coming from Paul Masson’s original vineyard at the Mountain Winery that Masson, who was a good friend of the Louis Latour family of Burgundy, brought to California during the 1880s. This Mount Eden Pinot Noir vines occupy seven acres of the estate vineyard and typically yield a meager one to one-and-a-half tons per acre, which adds to the richness and concentration in these wines. Patterson employs natural yeasts, and his fermentations are done in small open-top fermentors, where maceration usually extends to between ten to fourteen days, with the musts seeing gentile punch downs by hand. The new wine, after primary is finished, is then immediately put into 75% new and 25% one-year-old French oak barriques. The Estate Pinot sees a long elevage, it matures in the barrel for eighteen months before being bottled unfined and unfiltered, plus it ages in bottle in the cellar for close to another year. I was great to taste through these beautiful Mount Eden Estate offerings at the Slow Wine show, and as you can see (from my reviews), I was very impressed with their Chardonnay as well as this Pinot and the awesome 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon, these wines all are fantastic values too.
($65 Est.) 95 Points, grapelive

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