Mount Eden Estate Chardonnay 2017

Tasting Notes

Release Date: Fall 2020

Abundant rain fell in the winter of 2016-2017, which is always welcome given our increasing frequency of drought.

Our vineyards are dry-farmed, resulting in water stress throughout the growing season. Given this farming method, the vines over decades take on an individual character in the vineyard. As you walk the rows, you see that some are strong, some are weak, and many are just right. This vineyard diversity gives a “core” of energy to the wines.

Harvested in late August and early September, we pick an average of 1.5 tons of grapes per acre. These low yields are an essential key to our quality: Infertile soils, windswept high mountain sites; and our heritage clone—taken from Burgundy 120 years ago. These all combine to make the Estate Chardonnay sing.

Barrel fermented with complete malolactic fermentation, the wine is aged on its lees for ten months in 50% new Burgundy barrels. This barrel regimen gives the wine weight. Apple blossom and honeysuckle aromas are the high notes with enticing mineral flavors forming the basis. The lengthy finish bodes well for a long evolution.



Tech Notes

Yield: 2 tons per acre

Harvest: August 28th-September 6th

Numbers @ Harvest: 23.5° Brix, 3.30 pH, 8.5 grams acidity

Barrel Regimen: French Oak 50% new, 50% 1 year; 100% Barrel Fermented; 100% Malolactic; aged 10 months on the sur-lie

Bottling: July 2018

Alcohol: 14%


95 points Robert Parker Jr's The Wine Advocate - February 2021, Week 1

The 2017 Chardonnay Estate is beautifully expressed this vintage, scented of warm citrus, honeycomb and a singular undercurrent of spices. The palate is satiny with full, ripe fruit energized by bright freshness and mineral character, and the wines finishes very long, pure and uplifted. It improved slowly over several days and will benefit from time in the cellar or a long decant. —E. B

94 points Antonio Galloni presents Vinous - September 9, 2020

The 2017 Chardonnay melds together the natural raciness of the year with the classicism that is such a Mount Eden signature. Lemon confit, white flowers, mint and tropical accents give the 2017 its flashy, racy personality and yet on the palate the wine is quite structured and very nicely proportioned. The 2017 finishes with tremendous weight, oiliness and aromatic intensity. It can be enjoyed now or cellared for at least a few years. Today, it is absolutely fabulous. New oak is 50%.

94 points Wine & Spirits Magazine - October 2020

Jeffrey and Ellie Patterson’s Mount Eden vineyard is a trove of heritage vines, including descendants of the chardonnay cuttings Paul Masson brought from Burgundy in the early 1900s to plant at his La Cresta Vineyard just to the south. The current generation of vines that bore the Mount Eden clone were planted in the 1990s, today yielding a small, concentrated crop that Patterson transforms into an elegant, substantial and complex chardonnay. His 2017 has shape and structure: It’s meaty and rich up front, tingling with lemon clarity and red apple-skin freshness in the end. Wielding power without any sense of alcohol or heat, this vintage has a great future ahead. —J.G.

94 points Wine Enthusiast Magazine - November 2020

There’s a core of pear, light oak, toast and sea spray on the nose of this bottling from the iconic producer. Crushed chalk and almond flavors meet with a streak of lemon blossom on the palate, which is elegantly textured and built to last. —M.K.

91 points Wine Spectator - November 30, 2020

Pure and powerful, with dried sage and preserved citrus accents to the ripe pear and baked apple flavors. Ginger and roasted pineapple notes appear on the creamy finish. Drink now through 2024. –KM

17.5 points - January 18, 2021

17.5 (about 92-93 on the 100-pt. scale)

Grown at an elevation of 2,000 ft (610 m). Roughly 2,000 cases produced. Smells of lemon curd and white flowers. Rich lemon-curd and lemonade flavours mix with white flowers and grapefruit notes. Filigree acidity and a nice silky texture round out this rich, but very tasty wine. Thankfully very little oak influence other than texture. (AY)