Mount Eden Estate Chardonnay 1987
Release Date: Fall 1989
The 1987 vintage yielded a wine of remarkable harmony and grace. Lemon, anise, and gardenia flavors, typical of every vintage, are here in abundance, yet the overall impression is one of exquisite balance. Given the record of prior vintages which have tasted this way at this stage, i.e. 1973 and 1984, you can expect excellent development in the bottle for four to five years, then a drinking plateau for another five.
The grapes were picked at 24.0° brix, with a pH of 3.4, and 8.7 grams per liter titratable acidity. The finished wine has a pH of 3.5, titratable acidity of 7.2 grams per liter, and 13% alcohol.
91 points Robert Parker Jr.'s The Wine Advocate - August 1989
Here is another outstanding effort from one of the three or four best Chardonnay producers in California. In a blind tasting, I am convinced there is only one Chardonnay in California I would consistently pick as being French – Mount Eden’s. The huge bouquet of buttery fruit intertwined with scents of lemons, mangos, and butterscotch-like, toasty new oak is enthralling. In the mouth, the 1987 is not as deep or as opulent as the fuller-bodied, more concentrated 1986, but this is no wimpish wine. There are layers of extract, well-buttressed by toasty new oak. This beautifully made, tightly knit Chardonnay should continue to drink well for 3-5 years.
89 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar - July/August 1998
Pale gold color. Spiced apple nose, with a faint musty quality that blocks the wine freshness. Rich, silky and concentrated, with nicely integrated acidity. Subtle and quite youthful in the mouth, but a wine of very good rather than outstanding intensity. Firm-edged apple and citric flavors offer more treble than bass. A harmonious rather than powerful chardonnay, without the force of personality of the best vintages here. From a crop twice the size of the ’86.
88 points Wine Spectator - November 1989
Lavishly oak aged, with butterscotch, pear and spicy flavors that are woody, but it has a smooth texture and good length on the finish. The smoky aftertaste is pretty.
Decanter Magazine - December 1990
“Six of the Best” Decanter’s Contributors from Around the World Choose Their Six Best Bottles of 1990
My visit to Mount Eden Vineyards, in the San Francisco Bay Area, was no less of a revelation. Winemaker Jeffrey Patterson may look and dress like James Dean, but he makes great Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs. His Mount Eden Estate Chardonnay 1987 was extremely fresh, and was as classically elegant and complex as a Corton-Charlemagne.
California Grapevine - October/November 1989
Medium-light golden yellow; attractive, relatively intense and concentrated, ripe, toasty, lemony aroma, Medium-full to full body; assertive, concentrated, high extract, well-balanced fruit/oak on the palate; long finish; lingering aftertaste. Above-average to superior quality. A stylish, well-oaked Chardonnay but supported by outstanding Chardonnay fruit. Needs a couple more years of bottle aging to reach its potential.
Connoisseurs' Guide to California Wines - November 1989
Perhaps the most harmonious Mount Eden Chardonnay ever, it takes full advantage of its youthfully tight, deeply cast fruit to hold toasty, buttery and slightly oaty elements together in a most alluring and still promising package. Following aromas that blossom with aeration, the flavors are packed with appley fruit and a full range of complex nuances. Always showing restraint as well as stuffing, this wine moves away from the ‘big’ approach to winemaking, and is surpassed by some earlier Mount Eden efforts for sheer volume, and steers to a more racy and balanced style.