Domaine Eden Pinot Noir 2016
This Pinot Noir is a mosaic of different selections and clones grown at Domaine Eden: Dijon clones 777, 667 and 828 reside alongside the historic California selections Mount Eden, Calera, and Swan. Each parcel is farmed to Mount Eden’s strict standards of sustainability, dry farming and low yields.
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The 2016 Pinot Noir has a pale to medium ruby-purple color and notions of eucalyptus, forest floor, cool blueberries, raspberry and sweet strawberry preserves with prosciutto, faint hints of dried herbs, wild blackberries and an orange peel note. The palate is light to medium-bodied with an intense core of perfumed fruit, a soft, grainy frame and juicy acidity, finishing with pretty berry notes.
From Mount Eden’s more affordable sister property comes this heady bottling, which begins with aromas of dark red fruit and freshly laid asphalt. The palate is immensely earthy, with more tar and a touch of singed boar skin, yet set against a dark raspberry and cranberry profile. Drink 2020–2031. Cellar Selection.
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.
Thin-skinned, finicky and temperamental, Pinot Noir is also one of the most rewarding grapes to grow and remains a labor of love for some of the greatest vignerons in Burgundy. Fairly adaptable but highly reflective of the environment in which it is grown, Pinot Noir prefers a cool climate and requires low yields to achieve high quality. Outside of France, outstanding examples come from in Oregon, California and throughout specific locations in wine-producing world. Somm Secret—André Tchelistcheff, California’s most influential post-Prohibition winemaker decidedly stayed away from the grape, claiming “God made Cabernet. The Devil made Pinot Noir.”