Mount Eden Estate Pinot Noir 2008

Tasting Notes

Release Date: Fall 2010

All of our estate vineyards are not irrigated (a rarity today). Every drop of water the vine uses comes from the sky. This isn’t because we can’t irrigate, it’s because this practice makes a more authentic, concentrated wine reflective of the vintage. In addition, no yeast is added for fermentation. All are native and spontaneous (the same is true for malolactic). Again it’s not because we can’t but the wine is truer to its terroir. As I approach my thirtieth vintage at Mount Eden it’s amazing how the winemaking has become as minimalist as possible.

This is our first estate offering from 2008. The growing conditions fit many parameters of high quality: low rainfall (25 inches), successful bloom in the spring and a moderate summer heat. The wine has a classic ruby hue with a sweet explosive nose of soft red fruit, cherry, pomegranate and earth. Round, generous and intense on the palate this vintage has the expected flavors of Pinot Noir – raspberry, plum black cherry and earth. Some tannin on the finish is apparent with great buttressing acidity.

One should expect improvement through 2018 and a drinking plateau for another decade.



Tech Notes

Yield: 2 tons per acre Harvest: August 29th-30th Numbers @ Harvest: 23.8 Brix, 3.4 pH, 7.5 grams acidity Barrel Regimen: French Burgundy 50% new; 50% 1 year Bottling: September 2009 Alcohol: 13.5%


93 points Allen Meadows Burghound - October 2010

An elegant, pure and complex nose speaks of spice and floral nuances on the fresh red berry fruit aromas that precede highly seductive and delicious yet entirely serious medium-bodied flavors that culminate in an impressively persistent finish. This should amply repay medium-term cellaring as there is the underlying material to do so. Terrific.  Drink  2015+

93 points Steve Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar - November/December 2010

Bright red.  High-pitched aromas of redcurrant, cherry and Asian spices, with a sexy floral quality and slow-building smokiness.  Fresh and incisive on the palate, offering tangy red fruit and mineral flavors that gain richness with air.  A bitter cherry note comes up on the very long, focused, pure finish.  Impressively balanced pinot.

93 points Wine Enthusiast Magazine  - February 2011

A brilliant Pinot Noir, dry and enormously concentrated in mountain cherries, raspberries, strawberries and sweet oak.  Completely delicious now, but with the acidity, minerality and balance to evolve over the next six years, at least.—SH

92 points Robert Parker Jr's The Wine Advocate - February 2011

Issue #193

There is not much color to the 2008 Pinot Noir Estate (light ruby, faded garnet), but the wonderful sweet cherry, currant and spring floral notes of the aromatics are endearing. With silky tannins, medium to full body, and a lot more flavor than the delicate color suggests, this wine is very approachable and probably best drunk over the next 7-8 years, although it might surprise me and last longer.

91 points Wine Spectator - May 2011

Fragrant, delicate plum and black cherry fruit is pure, focused, complex, elegant and full-bodied. Very Burgundian in its weight and purity. Drink now through 2018. –JL