Mount Eden Estate Reserve Chardonnay 2012

Tasting Notes

Release Date: Fall 2016

After the tremendous fanfare surrounding the Estate Chardonnay 2012 here comes the Reserve. This is the fifth time we have created a reserve. In July after the Estate wine has aged for 10 months in oak we select eleven of these barrels, stir the lees back into the wine and put it all into a small stainless steel tank. Twelve months later we bottle, but in the meantime all of the sediments have disappeared into the wine. Voila!

This 2012 Reserve has all the harmony and grace displayed with the Estate Chardonnay but with an added dimension of the lees absorption. Toasty elements add to the already complex citrus, anise, hazelnut, and earth notes in the nose. Youthful and tight on the palate, with good length from front to back, a leesy nuance adds to an already textured wine.

Given our experience with this wine, which started in 2007, expect a slow and positive development in the bottle for another decade.



Tech Notes

Yield: 2.5 tons per acre

Harvest: September 14th-18th

Numbers @ Harvest: 23.5° Brix, 3.30 pH, 8.1 grams acidity

Barrel Regimen: French Oak 50% new, 50% 1-2 years; 100% Barrel Fermented; 100% Malolactic; 10 months on the lees

11 barrels selected for Reserve program in August 2013; wine and lees stirred then aged an additional 12 months in stainless steel tank

Bottling: August 2014

Alcohol: 13.5%


96 points Antonio Galloni presents Vinous  - July 2016

The 2012 Chardonnay Reserve is absolutely gorgeous. Vivid and pure, with notable intensity but no excess weight, the 2012 has everything going on. Chamomile, white flowers, mint and white pepper give the wine its natural brightness and lift. Graphite, slate and a host of more mineral-inflected notes add complexity through to the long, articulate finish. Mount Eden’s Chardonnay is one of the truly great wines of California. The 2012 Reserve is not a big wine, but it is sublime, even if it is a bit closed today. Even so, the wine’s pedigree is first-class all the way. Quite simply, Mount Eden’s Reserve is one of the best Chardonnays, not just in the United States, but in the world. Drink 2016-2023.

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

Issue #64

The 2012 Reserve Chardonnay from Jeffrey Patterson is a beautiful, young bottle in the making. The nose is still quite primary, but shows outstanding depth and potential in its blend of apple, pear, acacia blossom, lovely soil tones, a touch of hazelnut and a discreet base of vanillin oak. On the palate the wine is very pure, focused and primary in personality, with its full-bodied format still quite tightly-knit, with a fine core, lovely acids and impressive focus and grip on the long, youthfully complex and impeccably balanced finish. This is still very early days for this lovely wine, and it will require some patience of those who would like to drink it with its secondary layers of complexity in full bloom. A lovely bottle that should be a real long distance runner. 2020-2045+.