Mount Eden Estate Chardonnay 1986
Release Date: Fall 1988
With fine, as with a lot things in life, one sacrifices quantity for quality. Our thirty-five year old Chardonnay vines invariably yield a precious if miniscule crop high atop Mount Eden. This is one reason why we have been so consistent with our Santa Cruz Mountain Chardonnay in the past.
The 1986 is a vintage highlighted by a sense of delicacy and length. Jaunty melon-lemon aromas lead to similar flavors which broaden and deepen in the persistent finish. Totally fermented in new Burgundy barrels, this wine underwent a complete malolactic conversion during the winter of 1987.
The grapes were picked at 24.5° brix, with a pH of 3.3 and 9.0 grams per liter titratable acidity. The finished wine has a pH of 3.35, titratable acidity of 7.4 grams per liter, and 13.7% alcohol.
96 points Robert Parker Jr's The Wine Advocate - August 1988
We are talking about mind-boggling quality, complexity and concentration. This incredible wine behaves like a Vincent Leflaive Chevalier Montrachet on the palate. This is an astonishing chardonnay and one of the greatest white wines I have tasted from California. First, the style is unique. The huge buttery and mango, apple and toasty bouquet offers a smorgasbord of heavenly delights. Then there is the taste. Layers of lavishly rich, chardonnay fruit are the sort of things that one rarely sees in today’s world of excessive yields of grapes per acre. This is a profound, compelling chardonnay that would pass as French to even the most experienced taster. How will it age? Who knows, but for the next 2-3 years I guarantee that few wines in the world can rival this beauty.
90 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar - July/August 1998
Pale gold color. Extravagant, leesy aromas of smoked nuts, fresh herbs and complex, ripe citric tones. Big, dense and rather muscular on the palate, with somewhat elevated alcohol that carries through to a slightly harsh aftertaste. Not quite as expressive in the mouth as on the nose, but very concentrated. Still developing. This was a cool year with a blast of hot weather at the end, says Patterson.
The Underground Wine Journal - July 1988
The very perfumed nose of this medium gold-colored wine has lovely aromas of smoky, toasty butterscotch and vanilla. The tart, citric tropical fruit flavors are steely, with nuances of butterscotch, and are beautifully balanced; this is still a baby. This flavorful wine will need lots of time, but will be an absolute beauty. 18 1/2 points Outstanding
Rating Scale for The Underground Wine Journal:
15-17 Very good
Under 12 Below Average