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Mount Eden Vineyards Estate Chardonnay 2011

Chardonnay from Santa Cruz Mountains, California
  • WS95
14.5% ABV
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14.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

#11 Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2014

For the 2011 vintage of the Estate Chardonnay, the winemaker Jeffrey Patterson decided to let the critics speak about his wine. Antonio Galloni, formerly a critic of the Wine Advocate, now on his own publication Vinous Media wrote:
Mount Eden's 2011 Chardonnay is simply magnificent. Intense and tightly-coiled from the very first taste, the 2011 pulsates with energy, texture and pure class. Bright citrus, lemon oil, flowers and crushed rocks are all vivid in the glass, but it is the wine's exceptional balance that stands out most. The long, vibrant finish is a thing of beauty. In 2011, winemaker Jeffrey Patterson did not make a Reserve, instead all of the juice went into the straight Chardonnay. Readers who want to understand why the Santa Cruz Mountains is one of the world's great terroirs for Chardonnay should start here. Quite simply, the 2011Chardonnay is a, reference-point for California.

Critical Acclaim

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WS 95
Wine Spectator
This stunning wine is deliciously rich and layered, with vibrant flavors of honeydew, honeysuckle, fig and mineral shaded by seductive toasty oak. The flavors build, displaying a deep measure of intensity and persistence. Drink now through 2024.
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Mount Eden Vineyards

Mount Eden Vineyards

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Mount Eden Vineyards, Santa Cruz Mountains, California
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Mount Eden Vineyards is a small historic wine estate perched at 2000 feet overlooking Silicon Valley in the Santa Cruz Mountain Appellation, about 50 miles south of San Francisco. 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. Mount Eden’s lineage of estate bottled Chardonnay and Pinot Noir is the longest in California. Planted in austere, infertile Franciscan shale on a cool, exposed mountaintop, these low-yielding estate vineyards have consistently produced world-class wines for over a half-century. In 2007 Mount Eden acquired an additional 55 acre wine estate in the Saratoga foothills, which was christened Domaine Eden.

Mount Eden Vineyards also produces non-estate Chardonnays from the central coast, primarily Edna Valley. They have great success making Chardonnay from the Wolff Vineyard and are continually recognized as making outstanding wines from that region.

Since 1981 Jeffrey Patterson has guided the winemaking and grape growing at Mount Eden. His emphasis is on wine growing rather than winemaking; and an obsession with gentleness and naturalness in the handling of the grapes and wines is his ongoing passion.

Santa Cruz Mountains

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A rugged and topographically diverse cool-climate appellation with a rich history, the Santa Cruz Mountains AVA stretches from Half Moon Bay to just above Monterey county. Elevation ranges from just 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 as well. This can be a challenging region in which to grow grapes, but it is well worth the effort. 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, and Merlot and Zinfandel also perform quite well. Santa Cruz Mountains wines are noted for their distinct minerality and balanced acidity. Often these wines can be aged for many years. Organic and sustainable vineyard practices are becoming increasingly common.

Chardonnay

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One of the most popular and versatile white wine grapes, Chardonnay offers a wide range of flavors and styles depending on where it’s grown and how it’s made. In Burgundy, Chardonnay produces some of the finest white wines in the world, typically tending towards minimal intervention in the winery and at its best resulting in remarkable longevity. This grape is popular throughout the world, but perhaps its second most important home is in California, where both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines enjoy great popularity. Oregon, Australia, South America, South Africa, and New Zealand are also significant producers of Chardonnay.

In the Glass

When planted on cool sites, Chardonnay’s flavors tend towards grapefruit, green apple, minerals, and white stone fruit, while warmer locations coax out richer, more tropical flavors of fig, melon, and pineapple. Oak can add notes of vanilla, coconut, and spice (as well as texture), while malolactic fermentation can impart soft, buttery acidity.

Perfect Pairings

Chardonnay is as versatile at the table as it is in the vineyard. The crisp, clean, Chablis-like styles go well with simple seafood, light chicken dishes, and salads. Richer Chardonnays marry well with cream or oil-based sauces.

Sommelier Secret

Since the 1990s, big, oaky, buttery Chardonnays from California have enjoyed explosive popularity. More recently, the pendulum has begun to swing in the opposite direction, towards a clean, crisp style that rarely utilizes new oak. These Old-World style wines have been dubbed the “New California Chardonnays,” and anyone who claims they do not like Chardonnay should give them a try.

BEJBJ00407_2011 Item# 134876