Mount Eden Estate Pinot Noir 1997 Estate
Release Date: Fall 1999
High mountain Pinot Noir is a rare and beautiful thing. Inherently fragile as a vine and unforgiving as a wine, it is even more so on these rugged windswept sites in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Precious few mountain acres exist in all of California and Mount Eden is pround to be on the few.
This wine comes from two vineyards planted side by side in the year I first began here, 1981. One is modern, linear, and trellised; the other is old-fashioned, organic, and untrellised. A study in contrasts for sure, yet both yielded remarkable fruit in 1997.
This is a year where everything ripened fully, evenly, and early with the grape skins, acidities and flavors close to greenhouse perfection. Fermented in small open-top fermentors with the natural yeasts and manipulated totally by hand without pumps, the new wine was aged twenty months in Burgundy barrels and was bottled unfined and unfiltered. This is a pure statement of our vineyard, nothing more or less. Prime drinkability from two to seven years given proper storage.
Sorry, technical notes are not available for this vintage.
Connoisseur's Guide to California Wine - February 2000
Well-defined, ripe-cherry fruit and nicely integrated oak mark this successful effort, and the wine sports supple, slightly velvety feel of top-shelf Pinot. Rich without being the least bit heavy, and nicely firmed by the proper bit of tannin, it can be enjoyed in the near term, but show every sign of improving with three to five years of cellaring.