2012 Mount Eden "Estate" Santa Cruz Mountains Cabernet Sauvignon
*Cellar Selection* Extremely elegant and restrained at first on the nose, this bottling eventually shows gravel and crushed rocks, with hints of blackberry and forest underbrush also emerging. A very firm structure weaves together an incredibly well-integrated wine, with dense mulberry and dried-fennel notes that morph into crushed herbs with time. Drink 2018-2032.
The 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon is a rich, intense wine that tastes much riper than the 13% stated on the label. Black cherry jam, plum, game, mocha, licorice and dark spices are all pushed forward. I would prefer to give the 2012 at least a few years in bottle to shed some baby fat. Jeffrey Patterson is one of the most laid back producers in California. His wines? They speak volumes. The Chardonnays are particularly strong this year at both the Domaine Eden and Mount Eden labels. Patterson told me 2013 a drought year, reminds him of 1984. I will take his word for it, as I was barely a teenager at the time. But tasting the wines, it is clear they are truly special from top to bottom. Although it gets a bit lost in the shuffle, the Old Vines Chardonnay (formerly Wolff), made from Edna Valley fruit, offers superb quality for the money. (AG)
Wine & Spirits
Like the 2012 Monte Bello grown one ridge to the north, the 2012 Mount Eden Cabernet is surprisingly open and welcoming in its youth. It has the mountains’ characteristic black olive and rosemary scents, but presents them in a polished, gently buffed texture that’s already delicious, its firmness implicit rather than explicit. You could decant this now for lamb, although its savory tones should take on more complexity with ten years in bottle.
Claret-style in the range of ripeness, flavors, structure and use of cedary, tobacco-shaded oak, this wins points for the understated elegance and restraint, a style rarely seen in California these days but one with appeal. Drink now through 2026. 1,636 cases made. (Web Only, 2016)