2010 Mount Eden "Estate" Santa Cruz Mountains Cabernet Sauvignon

SKU #1184252 96 points Wine & Spirits

 Most of the fruit for this restrained, savory Cabernet comes from cuttings Emmett Rixford purportedly sourced from Château Margaux in the 1890s. Martin Ray propagated his own cuttings from that selection to plant in this vineyard's shallow, shale-laced soils at 1,800 feet of elevation in the 1940s and 50s, and later Jeffrey Patterson replanted it in the 1980s with a selection from those vines. Is it just a coincidence that, tasting this blind, my thoughts turned to a 1985 Margaux I tasted recently? Maybe it was the gentle elasticity of the texture, the vibrant acidity, the rosy glow streaming through a curtain of ripe, earthy tannins. This feels layered with complexity: Beyond the pure cassis tone you might find lavender, graphite, redwood bark, black olive and green herbs. But you don't need to go fishing for descriptors to appreciate its nuances: just think of it as lovely, integrated, old-school California Cabernet. Buy a case and try not to drink most of it until 2030.  (10/2014)

94 points Vinous

 Often the most overlooked wine in the Mount Eden range, the 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon shows the pedigree of this great vintage. Firm veins of tannin support a core of black fruit, tar, grilled herbs, smoke and incense in a wild, savory mountain Cabernet Sauvignon that dazzles with its exceptional overall balance and personality. This is another fabulous new release from Mount Eden. 94+ (AG)  (7/2014)

91 points Wine Enthusiast

 Slightly funky scents of asphalt and sweaty socks come along with graphite, pressed blackberry and New Mexico chile. The palate is led by tobacco-laced zing, opening with boysenberry flavors, and finishing with decent acidity and mouth-coating tannins.  (12/2014)

Wine Spectator

 Very Bordeaux-like in terms of flavor, weight and profile, offering trim cedar and dried berry fruit, with jazzy, mahogany-laced wood, mocha and black licorice notes. Lively acidity keeps the flavors fresh.  (10/2014)

K&L Notes

From a parcel of Mount Eden's estate vineyard planted in 1981 and 1982, the 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon is complemented by 5% Merlot, 1% Cabernet Franc, and 1% Petit Verdot. The wine was fermented on native yeast in small tanks and the wine spent 21 months in half French oak (60% new) and half American oak (previously filled). From the winemaker: "The hallmark and beauty of this year is transparency of the fruit and abundant complexity. Black fruit, incense and sweet spices in the nose, with silky tannins and an endless array of violet, sage, espresso and grilled herbs on the palate, this Cabernet has exceptional overall balance and personality with an elegance that reminds me of a bygone era. Drinking window: 2017-2030."

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Price: $64.99

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Cabernet Sauvignon and Blends

- Cabernet Sauvignon has come a long way from its role as a blending varietal, however dominant, in the wines of Bordeaux. Today it is the most planted red varietal in the world. Identified as a descendent of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc, the late-ripening Cabernet Sauvignon needs to be planted in warmer climates to fully ripen. Its small berries can easily be identified for their distinctive blue color, thick skins and high tannins. And while the varietal has its own definitive characteristics: green pepper-like aromas and black currant flavors among them, it is perhaps most prized for its ability to convey terroir, vintage and winemaking. A relatively new varietal, Cabernet Sauvignon started making inroads into the wines of the Médoc and Graves in the late-18th century. Today it is also dominant in the up-and-coming Entre-Deux-Mers region of Bordeaux and can also be found in Southwest France. It is the companion varietal to Sangiovese in Italy's Super Tuscans and is planted all over Europe, stretching to lesser-known winegrowing regions like Russia and Lebanon. In the Americas Cabernet Sauvignon has found champions in every nook and cranny of California and among winemakers in Washington, where it complements plantings of Merlot. In South America, Cab thrives in Chile, but can also be found in smaller amounts in Argentina and even in Mexico.

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