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Mount Eden Vineyards Estate Pinot Noir 2012

  • W&S94
  • RP93
  • WE92
  • WW92
750ML / 13.5% ABV
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750ML / 13.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

This wine is reminiscent of Mount Eden Vineyards' 1991 at this stage. Technically the 1991 and the 2012 are similar, sharing commonalities of a drought year, a late harvest, a good yield and early-on precision and balance. The 2012 has classic aromas of earth, raspberry, cardamom and toasty oak that fill the glass. Elegant flavors echo the nose, adding intensity and weight through the finish. This is Pinot Noir in its most natural expression: complex, graceful and terroir driven.

Critical Acclaim

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W&S 94
Wine & Spirits
Between the oak (75 percent new), the stem character (about 40 percent whole cluster) and the spicy tones of the Mount Eden clone itself, this starts out in an almost stubborn mode—pent up in a tight, mineral structure. It takes two days of air before the wild, brushy fragrance and rose-hip acidity fully sync with the plumpness of the fruit. This is a commanding California pinot noir for the cellar, a rugged beauty with length, substance and complexity that feels deliberate and mountain grown.
RP 93
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Fermented and aged in 75% new French oak, the 2012 Pinot Noir Estate from Mount Eden has a lot of peppery spice and underbrush characteristics to go with a core of sour cherry and currant fruits on the nose. Medium-bodied, supple, nicely textured, and balanced with bright acidity, it starts out subtle, yet really stretches out nicely on the finish. It also blossoms with time in the glass. Give it 2-3 years and enjoy bottles through 2027.
WE 92
Wine Enthusiast
Extremely light and transparent in color, this wine has a nose that mixes light raspberry fruit with diced green olive, pimento and burned rubber funk. The olive tapenade carries to the palate with a just-ripe strawberry, making for a lean, savory vintage, which is carried with vibrant acidity that lasts into days two and three. Cellar Selection.
WW 92
Wilfred Wong of Wine.com
Taking a page out of Beaune, France, the 2012 Mount Eden Pinot Noir matches many of Burgundy's finest efforts at a price that is fraction of that sacred part of the wine world. Medium garnet color, some brick red notes; rustic, with red fruits in the nose, wild strawberries, a hint of savor; medium bodied, textured on the palate; dry, medium acidity, well balanced; dried leaves, wild strawberries and sweet earth in the flavors; medium to lingering finish. Drinking pretty well now. (Tasted: August 24, 2015, San Francisco, CA)
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Mount Eden Vineyards

Mount Eden Vineyards

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Mount Eden Vineyards, 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.

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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, 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.

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One of the most finicky yet rewarding grapes to grow, Pinot Noir is a labor of love for many. However, the greatest red wines of Burgundy prove that it is unquestionably worth the effort. In fact, it is the only red variety permitted in Burgundy. Highly reflective of its terroir, Pinot Noir prefers calcareous soils and a cool climate, requires low yields to achieve high quality and demands a lot of attention in the vineyard and winery. It retains even more glory as an important component of Champagne as well as on its own in France’s Loire Valley and Alsace regions. This sensational grape enjoys immense international success, most notably growing in Oregon, California and New Zealand with smaller amounts in Chile, Germany (as Spätburgunder) and Italy (as Pinot Nero).

Tasting Notes for Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir is a dry red wine, typically diominated by red fruit—strawberry, raspberry and cherry with some heftier styles showing black plum and more delicate styles of Pinot giving citrus qualities. It is relatively pale in color with soft tannins and a lively acidity. With age Pinot Noir can develop hauntingly alluring characteristics of fresh earth, savory spice and dried fruit.

Perfect Food Pairings for Pinot Noir

Pinot’s healthy acidity cuts through the oiliness of salmon or texture of tuna but its mild mannered tannins give it enough structure to pair with all sorts of poultry: chicken, quail and especially duck. As the namesake wine of Boeuf Bourguignon, Pinot noir has proven it isn’t afraid of beef. California examples work splendidly well with barbecue and Pinot Noir is also vegetarian-friendly—most notably with any dish that features mushrooms.

Sommelier Secrets for Pinot Noir

For administrative purposes, the region of Beaujolais is often included in Burgundy. But it is extremely different in terms of topography, soil and climate, and the important red grape here is ultimately Gamay, not Pinot noir. Truth be told, there is a tiny amount of Gamay sprinkled around the outlying parts of Burgundy (mainly in Maconnais) but it isn’t allowed with any great significance and certainly not in any Village or Cru level wines. So "red Burgundy" still necessarily refers to Pinot noir.

DBWDB0451_12_2012 Item# 136459

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