2012 Mount Eden "Estate" Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

SKU #1175168 94 points Wine & Spirits

 Between the oak (75 percent new), the stem character (about 40 percent whole cluster) and the spicy tones of the Mount Eden clone itself, this starts out in an almost stubborn mode—pent up in a tight, mineral structure. It takes two days of air before the wild, brushy fragrance and rose-hip acidity fully sync with the plumpness of the fruit. This is a commanding California Pinot Noir for the cellar, a rugged beauty with length, substance and complexity that feels deliberate and mountain grown. Cellar it for four or five years.  (10/2014)

92 points Wine Enthusiast

 *Cellar Selection* Extremely light and transparent in color, this wine has a nose that mixes light raspberry fruit with diced green olive, pimento and burned rubber funk. The olive tapenade carries to the palate with a just-ripe strawberry, making for a lean, savory vintage, which is carried with vibrant acidity that lasts into days two and three. (MK)  (12/2014)

91 points Vinous

 Rosewater, savory herbs, bright red fruit and mint wrap around the palate in Mount Eden's 2012 Pinot Noir. Intensely aromatic, lifted and perfumed, the 2012 shows good balance in a mid-weight style best suited to near and medium-term drinking. Owing to the abundant harvest, the 2012 is a bit lighter than some other recent vintages, but it is quite pretty just the same. As always, the 2012 includes a good amount of whole clusters, 40% to be specific. (AG)  (7/2014)

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Price: $59.99
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Staff Image By: Gary Westby | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 9/10/2014 | Send Email
For me, the Mount Eden Estate is the best Pinot Noir in California. No other producer has a track record of great, age-worthy wines that is as long or as deep. If you have read down this far, you are already aware of how great the 2012 vintage was in California for Pinot... And this may prove to be the best wine of this great vintage. On the nose, it has a kaleidoscopic complexity that puts it among the best young wines in the store. In the mouth the texture is perfect, the finish is firm, and goes on forever. It is high class stuff. It will be hard to stay away from, but the patient will be rewarded!
Drink from 2014 to 2042

Additional Information:


Pinot Noir

- One of France's most legendary grapes and the grape that earned Burgundy its reputation. The parent of varietals like Pinot Gris/Grigio and Pinot Blanc, Pinot Noir is blue to violet to indigo in color with relatively thin skins, and it is said to have been cultivated in France for more than 2,000 years. At its best, Pinot Noir creates elegant wines that are filled with primary red fruit aromas and flavors while young, revealing with an array of secondary characteristics like earth, smoke, violet, truffle and game with age. The varietal is also known, perhaps better than any, for its ability to translate terroir, or a sense of place. While the best Pinot Noir still comes from Burgundy, it is being produced with increasing success in cooler climates around the world. In France, it is part of the trifecta of grapes that can go into Champagne, and it is also grown in Alsace, Irancy, Jura, Savoie, Lorraine and Sancerre. Outside of France it is produced under the names Pinot Nero and Blauburgunder in Italy's mountainous regions, as Spätburgunder in Germany and as Blauburgunder in Austria. In the US, Pinot Noir has found suitable growing conditions in the cooler parts of California, including Carneros, the Russian River Valley, the Anderson Valley, the Sonoma Coast, Monterey County, the Santa Lucia Highlands and Santa Barbara County, as well as in Oregon's Willamette Valley. In recent years, New Zealand has demonstrated its ability to interpret this hard-to-grow varietal, with successful bottlings coming from careful and attentive growers in Central Otago, Martinborough and Canterbury. Chile is also an up-and-coming region for Pinot Noir, creating fresh, fruit-forward, early-drinking and affordable Pinots from the coastal Casablanca Valley and the Limari Valley.

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world. Click for a list of bestselling items from the United States.


- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year. For our entire selection of California wines, please visit this link.
Specific Appellation:

Santa Cruz Mountains

- Vineyards dot the valleys and ridges of this coastal AVA just south of San Francisco. Microclimates make it difficult to generalize, and vineyards are frequently separated by acres of forests and meadowlands (not to mention entire towns!), but this is nonetheless known as a cooler-climate zone ideal for pinot noir. Ridge is doubtless the most famous local producer, with its cabernet blend, Monte Bello, named after a Santa Cruz mountain peak. High-quality, low-production chardonnay and some Rhône varietals prosper as well.
Alcohol Content (%): 13.5