Mount Eden Estate Chardonnay 2006
Release Date: Fall 2009
Believe it or not, this vintage is at last calming down and getting interesting. A full two years after bottling—typical, puzzling and amazing.
Many things came together in 2006: Record cold winter weather gave good dormancy to our sleeping vines; abundant rainfall in the winter and spring which is important since we don’t irrigate; and gentle temperatures throughout the spring and summer allowing the grapes to ripen slowly and evenly.
Fermented on wild yeast in new and one-year old Burgundy barrels, this chardonnay is aged entirely on these yeast sediments for ten months in our mountain cave with no movement whatsoever. It was bottled in July with a light filtration for clarity.
This is a subtle wine with hints of toasty lees, lanolin, lime zest in the nose and high natural acidity with lively herb, citrus, mineral flavors on the palate. Burgundian in style, it is somewhat contrasting with 2004 and 2005 which are more flamboyant. As expected, the finish is rich, long and mysterious. Given the slow evolving nature of the 2006, expect further improvement for the next four to five years and a drinking plateau for at least another ten.
Yield: 3 tons per acre Harvest: September 9th-21st Numbers @ Harvest: 23.8 Brix, 3.43 pH, 8.5 grams acidity Barrel Regimen: French Burgundy 50% new; 50% 1 year; 100% Barrel Fermented; 100% Malolactic; aged 9 months Bottling: June 2007; lightly filtered Alcohol: 14.2%
96 points Wine Spectator - February 2010
#11 Top 100 Wines 2010–December,2010
Simply delicious, a rich, buttery style, delivering ripe, vivid and delicate peach, pear and honeydew melon fruit that’s complex, concentrated and full-bodied offers excellent length and depth. Creamy oak adds a touch of smoke and vanilla. The texture is silky. Drink now through 2016. –JL
94 points Steve Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar - November/December 2009
Bright yellow-gold. Fresh orange, fig and pear skin aromas are complemented by tarragon and cinnamon, with a suave note of marzipan coming up with air. Juicy and fresh, with sweet citrus and orchard fruit flavors and a stony underpinning. Gains flesh and richness on the strikingly ling finish while maintaining vivacity. This is delicious now but is balanced to repay at least six to eight years of patience.
93 points Robert Parker Jr's The Wine Advocate - February 2010
The light straw/gold-colored 2006 Chardonnay Estate reveals more restrained as well as more noble aromatics of crushed rocks, poached pears, and hints of pineapples, orange rind, and candied citrus. Medium to full-bodied with very good acidity, admirable purity, and a long finish, it is best drunk during its first decade of life some of these Chardonnays can last 20 years or more.