Mount Eden Vineyards Santa Cruz Mountains Chardonnay 2004
#13 Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2008
This full bodied chardonnay displays fine underlying acidity and a long finish, with hints of cardamom, anise and hazelnut which add interest to the fundamental lemon-mineral flavors. Of all Mount Eden's estate-grown wines, our chardonnay is most in need of further bottle aging at time of release, requiring an additional two to four years to fully reveal its true character. Many vintages are still fresh and enjoyable after fifteen years; this wine is considered one of the longest-lived white wines produced in California.
"Both of these wines, as well as the winery's estate-grown Cabernet, would make a list of the best and most ageworthy in California. What makes these two gems so special is their similarity to French burgundies in style, delicacy, balance and ability to improve over time. Winemaker Jeffrey Patterson excels with these wines in warm and cool years alike: in warmer years the flavors are fuller and richer; in cooler years they display more mineral and earthy touches. The vines, grown at 2000 feet, are among the oldest of their kind in the state." 94 Points
"Another brilliant Chardonnay from this historic producer high in the Santa Cruz Mountains, the 2004 Chardonnay Estate offers a beautiful perfume of subtle pineapple, orange marmalade, buttered citrus, white currants, and wet rocks in the mouth. It reveals stunning purity, crisp acidity, and a drinkability window of 7 to 10 years. It is very rich, but surprisingly light on its feet." 95 Points
"Mount Eden's estate Chardonnay typically starts out life as a tight, nervous wine. It's marked by acidity and minerals, and you don't want to drink it too cold. The '04 is a lovely young wine, rich and dramatically complex, with layers of pineapples, Meyer lemons, limes, wet stone, creamy yeast and smoky oak, like an important Chablis. Brilliant now, it should develop additional bottle nuances over the next six years." 93 Points
"Light gold. Smoky pear and baked apple aromas are underscored by subtle minerals and baking spices, with a suave anise quality adding complexity. Open-knit fruit and melon flavors coat the palate and turn a touch warm on the finish. Picks up subtle tanginess on the finish, leaving suave wet stone and succulent herb flavors behind. This wine has a admirable track record for aging, but this bottle suggests that it might be prudent to drink this 2004 on the young side." 90 Points
International Wine Cellar
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.
The largest and perhaps most varied of California’s wine-growing regions, the Central Coast produces a good majority of the state's wine. This vast California wine district stretches from San Francisco all the way to Santa Barbara along the coast, and reaches inland nearly all the way to the Central Valley.
Encompassing an extremely diverse array of climates, soil types and wine styles, it contains many smaller sub-AVAs, including San Francisco Bay, Monterey, the Santa Cruz Mountains, Paso Robles, Edna Valley, Santa Ynez Valley and Santa Maria Valley.
While the Central Coast California wine region could probably support almost any major grape varietiy, it is famous for a few Central Coast reds and whites. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel are among the major ones. The Central Coast is home to many of the state's small, artisanal wineries crafting unique, high-quality wines, as well as larger producers also making exceptional wines.
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.