Mount Eden Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 1996
Release Date: Spring 1999
The theme in '96 was big ripeness and a very small crop. Yields were down to just over one ton per acre and the resultant concentration shows in the powerfully intricate flavors. Most valley vineyards produce 4-5 tons per acre but here, high atop Mount Eden, it is different. The uniqueness of a wine is lost as the crop size goes up. Mount Eden has always produced Cabernet with a "sense of place" and our consistently low yields are a big reason.
This vintage has been very engaging from the beginning. Mouth-coating plushness was always the impression while in barrel. Now that it has hit the bottle, the inherent structure is evident to brace the exotic ripeness. Black and red fruits abound in the aromas with nuances of cinnamon, honey and cedar. Lush and long the the palate, the critical tannins are supple and nicely integrated. Drinkable now, yet optimally over the next 3-12 years.
Sorry, technical notes not available for this vintage.
90 points Robert Parker Jr's The Wine Advocate - December 1998
Issue # 120
The outstanding 1996 Cabernet Sauvignon possesses greater thickness and richness than the 1995, medium to full body, fine purity, and a black cherry/cassis component, intermixed with minerals and spice. More accessible than the 1995, it promises to be as long-lived.
89 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar - May/June 1999
Saturated ruby-red. Sappy aromas of black cherry, black raspberry, licorice and spicy oak. Fat, sweet, rich and satisfying, with just enough acidity to give shape to the mouthfilling, sweet fruit. Rather expansive finish features fine, dusty tannins. Avoids the roasted quality shown by so much North Coast cabernet in ’96. 89 points