Domaine Eden Chardonnay 2019
In 2019, late rains hit the flowering season hard and brought their harvest down to the lowest yields since 1998. That said, here in the Santa Cruz Mountains, they are accustomed to the twists of nature. The wine quality is the only thing that genuinely matters and the vintage turned out wonderfully—subtle aromas of hazelnut, anise and vanilla. On the palate, crisp minerality with firm structured acidity is foremost. Flavors of citrus, earth and brown spice come to the fore. Given the winemaking style, which emphasizes Burgundian ageability, expect future development over the next ten years.
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Domaine Eden is a mountaintop wine estate purchased by Mount Eden Vineyards in 2007. Modeled after Mount Eden, it was founded and built by the late Tom Mudd in 1983, who initially planted the Mount Eden clonal selections of Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon, which evolved to include Pinot Noir from various Dijon and California selections. This is the former home of Cinnabar Winery.
This property inspired a new wine brand, Domaine Eden, which focuses on Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from this special site and Bordeaux varieties from Mount Eden’s larger home, the Santa Cruz Mountains.
A rugged and topographically diverse cool-climate appellation with a rich history, the Santa Cruz Mountains AVA stretches from Half Moon Bay, just south of San Francisco, to the northern border of Monterey County. Elevations range from 800 feet to upwards of 3,000 and microclimates vary substantially depending on which side of the mountains the vineyards lie; cool ocean winds and fog play an important role here. This can be a challenging region in which to grow grapes, but it is well worth the effort. Santa Cruz Mountains wines are noted for balanced acidity levels, often showing great aging potential. Wine has been made here since the 1800s, most notably from the legendary Ridge Vineyards, whose Monte Bello vineyard garners international admiration.
Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon are the stars of this region, while Merlot and Zinfandel also perform quite well. Organic and sustainable vineyard practices are becoming increasingly common.
One of the most popular and versatile white wine grapes, Chardonnay offers a wide range of flavors and styles depending on where it is grown and how it is made. While it tends to flourish in most environments, Chardonnay from its Burgundian homeland produces some of the most remarkable and longest lived examples. California produces both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines. Somm Secret—The Burgundian subregion of Chablis, while typically using older oak barrels, produces a bright style similar to the unoaked style. Anyone who doesn't like oaky Chardonnay would likely enjoy Chablis.