Mount Eden Estate Reserve Chardonnay 2008
Release Date: Fall 2012
The difference in this wine and our regular Estate Chardonnay lies solely on a curious practice sometimes used in the making of renowned white Burgundies.
As we get ready to bottle the Estate Chardonnay--which has been aging in the cellar on its original sediments for ten months--we separate eleven barrels from the blend and stir them, incorporating all of the lees into the wine. Then we pump them into a stainless steel tank and hold the wine for another ten months. During this time all of the sediments (mainly yeast lees) are magically absorbed into the wine, similar to the process of making Champagne.
In the glass the difference is subtle but noticeable between the Estate and Reserve. The Reserve has more earth and mineral notes with the complexity coming from the lees influence. Aging potential is likely to be similar to our Estate but we don't know for sure since this is only our second year of making this wine. For the wine intellectuals among us, it is a compelling comparison.
Yield: 2.2 tons per acre
Harvest: August 30th-September 7th
Numbers @ Harvest: 23.8° Brix; 3.35 pH; 7.9 grams acidity
Barrel Regimen: French Burgundy 50% new; 50%-1 year; 100% Barrel Fermented; 100% Malolactic; aged 9 months on the lees 11 barrels selected for Reserve program in July 2009; wine and lees stirred then aged an additional 12 months in stainless steel tank
Bottling: July 2010
96 points Antonio Galloni presents Vinous - July 2015
The 2008 Chardonnay Reserve is in a gorgeous spot as it is just beginning to show the first signs of aromatic and flavor development. Hazelnut, honey, tropical fruit and butter open up in a Chardonnay endowed with lovely focus and delineation throughout. Smoke, slate and green orchard fruit add brightness on the close. The 2008 Reserve is a beautifully balanced, complete wine from Mount Eden. It also has enough freshness to drink well for another decade, perhaps longer. What a gorgeous wine the 2008 is turning out to be. Drink 2015-2023
95 points Robert Parker Jr's The Wine Advocate - August 2012
Issue # 202
The 2008 Chardonnay Reserve boasts incredible depth and power. Today it comes across as much more reticent than the straight 2009 bottling. The characteristic Mount Eden flavors are there. Bright fruit and floral notes, along with the clean veins of minerality, help give the wine its underlying tension and minerality. Anticipated maturity: 2013-2028.