Mount Eden Estate Chardonnay 1998
Release Date: Spring 2001
It's been a full two years since we've introduced a new vintage of this wine to you. After the '97 release we decided to postpone the debut of the '98 a full year to allow the wine to relax and come into full expression. We're glad we did. Three years after harvest is a good time to begin to enjoy the Estate Chardonnay.
1998 was a memorable year for those of us who live in Northern California. Ninety days of measurable precipitation fell (is this California or England?). As expected during the critical grape flowering, not a whole lot of berries were produced and our usually small yielding vineyards were even smaller. Late and small was the hand dealt in '98. Yet fortunately, the weather in the Fall got back on track and we received, albeit slowly, our blessing of beautifully ripe Chardonnay fruit.
Mysterious and composed in the aromas with toast, mint, clove, and allspice nuances, the '98 has full entry on the palate and completeness through to the finish. Fermented in all new Burgundy barrels, aged on the yeast lees for nine months, this vintage was bottled unfined but lightly filtered. Enjoyable drinking should be expected for the next 7-10 years.
Sorry, technical notes are not available for this vintage.
91(+?) points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar - May/June 2001
Pale yellow-gold. Reticent aromas of orange skin, marzipan, toasted hazelnut and nutmeg; I was reminded of both Meursault and Corton-Charlemagne. Intensely flavored and sappy, with citrus, nut skin and mineral elements. Dense and strong in extract; this really expanded with aeration. Lovely restrained sweetness supported by strong backbone. Very unforced California chardonnay with strong soil character. In need of patience, and built to age.
91 points California Grapevine - June/July 2001
Medium-light to medium golden yellow; attractive, intense, toasty buttery, ripe Chardonnay fruit aroma with overtones of butterscotch and vanilla; full body; big, intense, rich toasty buttery, tart apple flavors; firmly structured; slightly harsh and woody on the finish; lingering aftertaste. A full-blown, oaky style of Chardonnay but supported by good depth of fruit. Very Highly Recommended