Mount Eden Estate Pinot Noir 2012
Release Date: Fall 2014
Forgive me for being nostalgic but this wine reminds me of our 1991 at this stage. Technically the 1991 and the 2012 are similar, sharing commonalities of a drought year, a late harvest, a good yield and early-on precision and balance.
Over time the 1991 has blossomed into one of the best Pinots we have made in the past 25 years. Only problem is— I didn’t keep enough in our library.
The 2012 has classic aromas of earth, raspberry, cardamom and toasty oak that fill the glass. Elegant flavors echo the nose, adding intensity and weight through the finish.
This is Pinot Noir in its most natural expression: complex, graceful and terroir driven. Given what I experienced with the 1991 it will pay dividends over the next twenty years.
Yield: 2.8 tons per acre
Harvest: September 8th-20th
Numbers @ Harvest: 23.2° Brix, 3.45 pH, 7.5 grams acidity
Barrel Regimen: French Burgundy 75% new; aged 11 months in barrel
Bottling: August 2013; no fining or filtration
94 points Wine & Spirits Magazine - October 2014
Between the oak (75 percent new), the stem character (about 40 percent whole cluster) and the spicy tones of the Mount Eden clone itself, this starts out in an almost stubborn mode—pent up in a tight, mineral structure. It takes two days of air before the wild, brushy fragrance and rose-hip acidity fully sync with the plumpness of the fruit. This is a commanding California Pinot Noir for the cellar, a rugged beauty with length, substance and complexity that feels deliberate and mountain grown. Cellar it for four or five years.
93 points Robert Parker Jr's The Wine Advocate - October 2015
Fermented and aged in 75% new French oak, the 2012 Pinot Noir Estate from Mount Eden has a lot of peppery spice and underbrush characteristics to go with a core of sour cherry and currant fruits on the nose. Medium-bodied, supple, nicely textured, and balanced with bright acidity, it starts out subtle, yet really stretches out nicely on the finish. It also blossoms with time in the glass. Give it 2-3 years and enjoy bottles through 2027.—Jeb Dunnuck
92 points CELLAR SELECTION Wine Enthusiast Magazine - December 2014
Extremely light and transparent in color, this wine has a nose that mixes light raspberry fruit with diced green olive, pimento and rubber funk. The olive tapenade carries to the palate with a just-ripe strawberry, making for a lean, savory vintage, which is carried with vibrant acidity that lasts into days two and three.—MK
91 points Antonio Galloni presents Vinous - July 2014
Rosewater, savory herbs, bright red fruit and mint wrap around the palate in Mount Eden’s 2012 Pinot Noir. Intensely aromatic, lifted and perfumed, the 2012 shows good balance in a mid-weight style best suited to near and medium-term drinking. Owing to the abundant harvest, the 2012 is a bit lighter than some other recent vintages, but it is quite pretty just the same. As always, the 2012 includes a good amount of whole clusters, 40% to be specific. Drink 2014-2027
89 points Wine Spectator 12 Stunning California Pinot Noirs; New reviews from the 2011 and 2012 vintages - October 27, 2014
Very tight, with just enough ripeness to the blackberry and wild berry flavors. The tannins and acidity are fresh and snappy, and the finish ends with crisp fruit, a peppery, stemmy quality and good length. Best from 2016 through 2025.