Mount Eden Estate Pinot Noir 1998
Release Date: Fall 2001
Pinot Noir, always a favorite of mine, a wine of mystery and nuance, is so hard to define yet as close to vinious nirvana as it gets. Our Pinot is from two small vineyards planted side by side in 1981. One irregular, organic, untrellised, and wild; the other organized, linear, modern, and uniform. A viticultural contrast if I ever saw one, and together they comprise our 1998 Pinot Noir.
1998 was an " El Nino" year of great suspense. The winter lasted until June, pretty much wiping out the flowering. The rest of the summer was cool and dry leading to one of the latest harvests on record. Painstakingly slow ripening at the end had us waiting in the vineyard for over a month to harvest an exceedingly small crop of one ton per acre. Aged in French burgundy barrels for 12 months, it was bottled naturally with no fining or filtration.
"Frais du bois" (wild strawberry) dominates the nose with a melange of soft red fruits and French oak aroma. Succulent and expansive on the palate, this pinot has a deep inner core of cherry and brown spice that reflects the minuscule harvest. Enjoy for the next 3-8 years.
Sorry, technical notes are not available for this vintage.
88 points Wine Spectator - August 2001
Ripe and complex, with dried cherry, herb, cedar, anise, sage and a touch of leather. Well-focused, balanced and mildly tannic. Drink now through 2006.