Mount Eden Estate Pinot Noir 2013

Tasting Notes

Release Date: Fall 2016

2013 was the beginning of what has now been a four year run of early harvests. The drought conditions were very evident and we began picking the fruit on August 19th. At the time we thought this was a huge anomaly but now, in the fall of 2016, it seems like the new norm.

The vintage signature is intensity with a huge spicy nose which is slightly stemmy from our new/old method of whole cluster fermentation. We had abandoned this method for twenty-four years but began using it again with the 2007 vintage. Whole cluster fermentations are a major topic among the artisan Pinot Noir world. What it gives is a level of complexity in both the aromas and flavors. It can, however, detract if misused, so it must be a careful, practiced art.

Lovely spicy, intense aromas that are unmistakable Pinot Noir—deep complex, raspberry, strawberry, and blueberry—combine with oak and an earth-born nuance. Flavors are deep across the palate, echoing the complexity of the aromas. Given the style of the 2013, it should give optimum drinking pleasure early on yet, given our history, it is destined for a multi-decade future.



Tech Notes

Yield: 2.0 tons per acre

Harvest: August 19th-30th

Numbers @ Harvest: 23.8° Brix, 3.4 pH, 7.0 grams acidity

Barrel Regimen: French Burgundy 50% new, 50% 1 year

Bottling: October 2014, no fining or filtration

Alcohol: 13.5%


96 points Robert Parker Jr's The Wine Advocate - October 2016

Issue #227

The 2013 Pinot Noir Estate is one of the stars from the appellation, and the vintage. Offering fabulous notes of black cherries, currants, crushed rocks and sous bois, this beauty hits the palate with medium to full-bodied richness, building tannin and a killer finish. This is sensational Pinot Noir that can be enjoyed today, or cellared for a decade or more.

95 points Wine Enthusiast Magazine - December 2016

Cellar Selection

This wine is wound extremely tight, but opens like a lotus with decanting or overnight patience. Aromas of rose buds, black-raspberry extract, wet clay and dried purple flowers show on the nose, bolstered by the slightest smoky kiss of oak. Savory flavors of roasted black-plum skins and elderberry meet with soy, graphite and loam on the palate, which will gain amazing tertiary flavors with time. Drink 2018–2028.   —M.K.

94+ points Antonio Galloni presents Vinous - July 2016

Mount Eden’s 2013 Pinot Noir is going to need at least a few years to come into its own. Dense and powerful, yet also very tightly wound, the 2013 is in no mood to show all of its cards. Still, the intensity of the vintage is impossible to miss. The 35% whole clusters are nearly buried by the sheer intensity of the fruit. This ample, large-scaled Pinot will reward those who wait. I will not be surprised if the 2013 is even better in another few years, as it holds considerable promise. Drink 2019-2033

94 points View From the Cellar by John Gilman - July / August 2016

Issue #64

The 2013 vintage of the “Estate” pinot noir bottling from Mount Eden is outstanding. The wine is the same octane as the fine 2012 version, but both the nose and palate seem more seamless and refined, indicating just absolutely perfect ripeness in 2013. The perfumed bouquet offers up a youthful blend of cherries, strawberries, cocoa powder, a fine base of soil tones, just a touch of nutskin, fresh thyme, incipient cinnamon and a touch of vanillin oak. On the palate the wine is full-bodied, pure and beautifully balanced, with an outstanding core of fruit, stellar transparency, ripe, suave tannins, tangy acids and exceptional length and grip on the nascently complex finish. This is a very young and very, very fine bottle of pinot noir in the making. It will be approachable in a few years, but I would try very hard not to touch a bottle until it has had a full decade to evolve in the cellar! 2023-2065+.

91 points Wine Spectator - September 2016

Offering different shades of plum and cherry flavors, this is floral and spicy, picking up a smoky, toasty nuance on the aftertaste that puts the inherent elegance here on full display. Drink now.–JL