Mount Eden Estate Chardonnay 2018

Tasting Notes

Release Date: Fall 2021

One can never argue over the fickleness of Mother Nature.

After abundant rain for our 2017 vintage, 2018 was again a drought year in the Santa Cruz Mountains. But, what is a drought truly? When we say “drought,” we mean rain below our seasonal average: typically, anything less than 20 inches. (Our average is 36 inches). When California declares a drought, it is the culmination of multiple years of low rain totals. At Mount Eden, we know our land and vines and can see droughts coming on even before anyone else realizes it. Here rain is life.

In 2018 we had luck with a long gentle growing season. As a result, the harvest was early, and our goal was to pick as quickly as possible to preserve the crucial acidity that makes our Estate Chardonnay spectacular.

Youthful in the nose, this Chardonnay has nuances of gardenia blossom, lime zest, and hazelnut. On the palate, there is beautiful restraint with a persistence of lemon, oak, and an intriguing minerality. Old World in style, this vintage is poised to age for twenty years with good cellaring.



Tech Notes

Yield: 1.2 tons per acre

Harvest: August 27th-September 1st

Numbers @ Harvest: 22.9° Brix, 3.30 pH, 7.7 grams acidity

Barrel Regimen: French Oak 65% new, 35% 1 year; 100% Barrel Fermented; 100% Malolactic; aged 10 months on the sur-lie

Bottling: July 2019

Alcohol: 13.5%


95 points Antonio Galloni presents Vinous - May 2022

Mount Eden’s 2018 Chardonnay offers a fabulous interplay of richness and energy. A wine of linear intensity, the 2018 could use a few more years in bottle to be at its best, but it is super-impressive, even now, in what is very clearly the early going. Lemon confit, mint, orange peel, spice and light butter notes all build into the articulate, polished finish. This is such a classy wine. Give it a few years to come together. Drinking window: 2024 – 2033—A.G.

94 points Wine Enthusiast Magazine  - November 2021

Honeyed nut, tangerine peel and baked apple aromas show on the nose of this bottling. A zesty acidity enlivens the palate from front to back, carrying toasty flavors of pan-seared apple, cashew, sea salt and white flower. —M.K.

93 points - December 21, 2021

A Burgundy lover’s Chardonnay from the Santa Cruz Mountains, the 2018 Chardonnay Estate is another terrific effort from this estate. Lots of honeyed citrus, nectarine, toast, crushed stone, and white flower notes define the bouquet, and it opens beautifully with time in the glass, gaining both richness and complexity. Medium-bodied, it stays tight and compact on the palate, with bright yet integrated acidity, solid mid-palate depth, and a great finish. As with all of Patterson’s wines, it’s brilliantly made, balanced, and well worth checking out. Maturity 2022 – 2030                                                  

92 points Wine & Spirits Magazine  - October 2021

Mount Eden’s chardonnay vines are descendants of cuttings that Paul Masson brought from Burgundy and planted at his La Cresta Vineyard, and where Martin Ray sourced the plant material when he established Mount Eden on a nearby ridge, 2,000 feet above the Pacific, facing east. The contemporary vines, mostly planted in the mid-1990s, are tended by Jeffrey Patterson who made this rich and powerful 2018. Fermented in French oak barrels (50 percent new), the wine’s smokiness seems tied as much to the earth as to the wood. It’s savory and lemony, with a firm cut that should serve it well through several years of bottle aging. —J.G.

91 points Wine Spectator - November 2021

There’s a luscious and creamy texture to the concentrated ripe apple, pear and quince flavors that are filled with cooking spice accents. Ends with sage honey nuances on the rich finish. Drink now through 2024. — KM