2012 Mount Eden "Estate" Santa Cruz Mountains Chardonnay

SKU #1216486 95 points Vinous

 An utterly enticing, striking wine, the 2012 Chardonnay is captivating from the very first taste. Lemon oil, white flowers and mint are some of the signatures. The 2012 remains subtle and hushed in the glass, with striking interplay of fruit, acidity and bright saline notes. Above all else, the 2012 speaks to pure class. Once again, Mount Eden's Chardonnay stakes its claim as one of this country's oenological jewels. The 2012 appears to have a very bright future. Readers who can find it should not hesitate to pick it up....Mount Eden and its sister estate Domaine Eden remain surprisingly under the radar. Part of that is undoubtly a result of the decision to sell most of the production through distribution rather than direct to the consumer, where there is a greater opportunity to build a stronger bond and brand awareness with the end customer. What that means in practical terms is that these wines sell for far less than wines of similar quality from other parts of the US and around the world. The Mount Eden wines remain reference points for the Santa Cruz Mountains, while the Domaine Eden range is designed to deliver that pedigree at more accessible prices. (AG)  (6/2015)

95 points Wine Spectator

 *#5 in Wine Spectator's Top 100 of 2015* Spicy, toasty, aromatic oak offers an enticing start, with a fresh, vibrant core of lemon-lime, lemon curd, white peach and stone fruit that is very tight, dense, focused and persistent. Ends with a juicy Key lime aftertaste. Drink now through 2029. 1,986 cases made.  (11/2015)

94 points Wine Enthusiast

 Seared yellow grapefruit, white flowers and a hint of almonds make for a fresh but simultaneously nutty nose on this classic bottling from the historic producer, whose grapes come from the top of the high-elevation appellation. The extremely energized palate is enlivened by flavors of salted lemons, a buttery warmth and racy yet rich minerality, from chalk and slate to graphite and flint.  (12/2015)

93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Pure class, the 2012 Chardonnay Estate (barrel fermented and aged in equal parts new and 1-2 year old barrels) sports a light gold color to go with classic apple blossom, crushed rock, white flowers and vanilla cream-like aromas and flavors. Rich, full and textured on the palate, yet with vibrant acidity, it's clean and classy through the finish, and has impressive depth of fruit and length. It's enjoyable now and I suspect it will evolve nicely as well. Located on the warmer, eastern/northern side of the Santa Cruz Mountains, Mount Eden Vineyards is one of the most historic estates in California. In addition, their wines have one of the longest track records in the region for aging beautifully. Originally planted in 1945, the estate covers roughly 40 acres today and Jeffrey Patterson makes the wines. Under their Mount Eden label, they release three Chardonnays, a single Pinot Noir and a Cabernet Sauvignon. Their Domaine Eden label is focused on Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from a vineyard lying just to the south of the estate, and also includes Bordeaux varieties from throughout the Santa Cruz Mountains. (JD)  (10/2015)

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Varietal:

Chardonnay

- It's hard to believe that up until about 30 years ago, this extremely popular varietal hid behind the veil of geographical names like Chablis and Puligny-Montrachet. Now grown all over the world and bottled by its varietal name, Chardonnay has achieved a level of branding unlike any other wine. Surprisingly, though, what you get when you buy Chardonnay can differ greatly from country to country and even within one country, depending on the climate where it's grown and how it is vinified and aged. From fresh, crisp and minerally with apple and lemon notes to rich and buttery with tropical fruit overtones, Chardonnay runs the gamut. In France's Burgundy, Chardonnay is the source of the prized wines of Chablis, Corton-Charlemagne, Mâcon, Meursault and Montrachet. It also the foundation of exceptional Champagne, where it is blended with Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier or vinified on its own into Blanc de Blancs. It is also extremely popular in California, and is gaining popularity in Australia, New Zealand, Italy, Spain and South Africa.
Country:

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.
Sub-Region:

California

- 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.