Mount Eden Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2014

Tasting Notes

Release Date: Fall 2018

2014 was probably the worst year of our recent drought. Only fourteen inches of rain fell that winter which was unprecedented. Concerned about dry-farming old vines with so little precipitation, we decided to prune way back to reduce the crop size; indeed the harvest was small, yet significant.

There is so much to say about our Cabernet: It is grown at elevation in a coastal mountain range; the vines are mature, planted in 1979 and 1984 from budwood sourced in the 1890’s from Chateaux Margaux; and the vines are low-yielding, averaging just above one ton per acre, allowing our terroir to express its highest level. Thirty and forty year-old bottles are still remarkably vibrant and fresh.

This 2014 Estate Cabernet is a masterpiece. William Kelley previously reporting for UK Magazine Decanter and now with the Wine Advocate summed it up best “A complex bouquet of wild berries, cassis, cigar box and mountain laurel prefaces a savoury, full-bodied wine with a three-dimensional, layered chassis of fine- grained tannin and a nicely reserved core with good depth and bright acidity. This dependably age-worthy cuvée can look forward to three decades of evolution in the cellar.”



Tech Notes

Yield: 1.5 tons per acre

Harvest: September 13th- October 6th

Numbers @ Harvest: 23.5° Brix, 3.40 pH, 6.5 grams acidity

Cepage: 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc & 2% Petit Verdot

Barrel Regimen: French & American; 50% new; aged 24 months in barrel

Bottling: August 2016; no fining or filtration

Alcohol: 14%


97 points - February 14, 2019

One of the finest vintages of this cuveé I’ve tasted, the 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate is a thrill a minute with its fabulous bouquet of crème de cassis, charcoal embers, spice and subtle vanilla oak aromas and flavors. Possessing medium to full body, an incredibly layered, seamless texture, moderate acidity, and present, ripe tannins, it has some upfront charm given its purity of fruit and texture, but deserves 3-4 years of bottle age and is going to keep for two decades. This beauty rivals Ridge’s Monte Bello and is an incredible example of Cabernet Sauvignon grown in this mountain terroir.

96 points Decanter - April, 2018

One of California’s original boutique wineries, Mount Eden Vineyards was founded in 1945 by Paul Masson and Martin Ray. Winemaker Jeffrey Patterson has led this low-yielding estate since 1981, attributing its success to wine-growing, rather than winemaking. Surprisingly the heritage of the winery’s Cabernet Sauvignon vines can be traced back to the 1890s, when viticulturist Emmett Rixford obtained cuttings from Château Margaux in Bordeaux. Stephen Brook: Black fruits nose, with discreet new oak. Surprisingly approachable with a ripe fruit mid-palate. Vibrant, deft and fruity style. Alex Hunt MW: The palate has just the right ratio of gloss to structure; a firm core beautifully fleshed out by fruit. Impeccable harmony here. Stefan Neumann MS: Delicate, earthy aromas lead to a compact core with ripe fruit. Great potential, with great acid to back up the power. (Tasted by Panel)

96 points Wine & Spirits - April 2019

It’s rare to find a cabernet with such elegance and precision that’s also firmly grounded in the grandeur of the Pacific coast. Jeffrey Patterson grew it on 13 acres of vines he planted in the 1980s: He propagated the plants from three acres Martin Ray had established on the property in the 1950s, having selected cuttings from La Questa Vineyard, a site Emmett Rixford had plated in the late 19th century, with cuttings he imported from Chateau Margaux. The third generation of those immigrant vines now prospers on a ridgetop 15 miles from the ocean, where they grow fresh, ripe grapes and sustain a robust community of yeasts to ferment those grapes into this fragrant, bright cherry-scented wine. It’s delicate and brisk, tingling with cool, hunger inducing juiciness, even as its stature and staying power suggest waiting ten years or more to get the most out of this California original—J.G.

94+ points Antonio Galloni presents Vinous - August 31, 2018

The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon is fabulous. Racy and linear in the glass, the 2014 is superb from start to finish. The 2014 is remarkably fresh considering the brutal drought conditions of the year. Bright floral notes, red-toned fruit and fine yet insistent tannins are some of the signatures in this super-expressive Santa Cruz Mountains Cabernet. Vivid and chiseled in style, the 2014 will drink well for several decades.

94 points Robert Parker Jr's The Wine Advocate - February 2020, Week 1

“This has an unusual, kind of soft tannins that are not typical of this wine,” Jeffrey Patterson says. “It was an unusual vintage, and tannin structure is not at all hard.” The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon is made up of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot. Medium to deep ruby, it has a seductive, layered nose of licorice, loamy soil, warm red currant, black cherries, woodsmoke, pencil shavings, dried herbs, cedar and dried flowers with cocoa powder hints. It’s medium-bodied and intense in the mouth with layers of ripe fruits, spices and savory notions, framed by soft, grainy tannins and juicy freshness very long and savory. —E. B.

92 points Wine Enthusiast Magazine - December 2018 (Best of Year Buying Guide)

Black-plum sauce, Chinese five-spice and a hint of black olive linger behind the prominent pine-oil and woodspice aromas on the nose of this bottling from the acclaimed producer. The palate is also very woody and savory, with oak and pine forest flavors slipping into baked blackberry and dark plum. —M.K.

88 points Wine Spectator - November 15, 2018

Creamy dill and cedar-laced oak notes are front and center, making for a chewy, woody drink, muscling past the dark berry fruit. Best from 2021 through 2031.–JL