Mount Eden Estate Pinot Noir 1996
Release Date: Fall 1998
Pinot Noir the mystery wine, so expressive of terroir and yet so enigmatic and transparent. Connoisseurs who have been drinking it for years are still confused about what Pinot Noir is supposed to be. But when it is right, it is better than wine should legally be.
Ripe cherries, soft ripened cheese and mushroom form the first impression in the aromas. Light in entry but with weight developing at mid-palate, the '96 is kind of a chameleon of lightness with density. Long and spicy in the aftertaste, is this Chambolle Musigny or Mount Eden?
Drinking well now, expect further complexity for another 2-5 years.
Sorry, technical notes not available for this vintage.
90 points Robert Parker Jr's The Wine Advocate - December 1998
Issue # 120
The 1996 Pinot Noir is reminiscent of a good Beaune or Volnay premier cru. Bright jammy, strawberry, and fruit flavors are intertwined with spicy oak and minerals. Elegant and medium-bodied, with total harmony, this beautifully rendered Pinot Noir should drink well for 5-7 years.
M[oun]t Eden’s Pinot Noirs are elegant, Cote de Beaune-styled examples, with surprising longevity. I had my last bottle of 1985 this fall, and was extremely pleased to see how fresh, lively, and complex it had remained.
88 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar - November/December 1998
Medium red. Sappy aromas of redcurrant, cherry and cinnamon. Sappy cherry and spice flavors are juicy and delineated, and convey a strong impression of soil. Not especially fleshy or sweet – an adult style of California pinot. Finishes slightly austere, but with nicely integrated tannins.