Mount Eden Estate Reserve Chardonnay 2016

Tasting Notes

Release Date: Fall 2020

The Reserve program began with the 2007 vintage, after an enlightening trip to Burgundy. 2016 will be our eighth Reserve Chardonnay bottling. The track record for aging with these wines has been incredible, much like our Estate Chardonnay—even better in fact.

We create this wine by selecting eleven barrels from the vintage, which has been aging on the lees in French oak for ten months. The wine and lees are stirred then transferred to a stainless steel tank. The Reserve then sits untouched for another twelve months. During this time, the lees are absorbed into the wine and disappear. This Chardonnay is bottled after a full 22-months in the cellar.

Very complex on the nose, with aromas of mint, toast and lilac, this rich yet elegant wine has flavors on the palate of lemon and hazelnut with marzipan lingering in the lengthy aftertaste.

Expect a long life with proper cellaring.



Tech Notes

Yield: 1.5 tons per acre

Harvest: August 19th-30th

Numbers @ Harvest: 22.5° Brix, 3.30 pH, 8.4 grams acidity

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

11 barrels selected for Reserve program in July 2017; wine and lees stirred then aged an additional 12 months in stainless steel tank

Bottling: July 2018

Alcohol: 13.5%


97 points Antonio Galloni presents Vinous - September 9, 2020

The 2016 Chardonnay Reserve is the stuff dreams are made of. Towering and statuesque in its pedigree, the Reserve shows why the Santa Cruz Mountains is such a special place. The 2016 is deep, powerful and intense, and yet it remains remarkably finessed as well. Tangerine oil, mint, chamomile and lightly honeyed notes all develop with a few hours of aeration. The Reserve is a blend of 11 barrels (all neutral oak) that spends its second winter on its lees in tank, an approach that is common in Burgundy, but that is not often seen in California. All I can say is: Wow!

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

The 2016 Chardonnay Reserve improved over several days and is just beginning to hint at more to come with bottle age. The nose offers warm citrus and floral perfume with a deep core of orchard fruits. The palate is silky and expansive, with a streak of mineral-like undertones, a flush of juicy acidity and long layered finish. It deserves more time in bottle. —E. B