1996 Mount Eden Santa Cruz Mountains Estate Cabernet Sauvignon

SKU #301001 90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 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.  (12/1998)

Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 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.  (6/1999)

K&L Notes

Last year's release was one of our favorites in this price range. There's good news and bad news about the '96. This wine is even better, but there is MUCH less available this time. Jeff and Ellie Patterson first released a Cabernet from the Lathweissen Ridge vineyard in 1987. At that time, it was called the 'Young Vine Cuvée.' After 12 years, the vineyard is no longer young, but they still bottle the wine from this estate vineyard separately. Packed with dark currant fruit, this Cabernet has good length and ripe tannins.

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Price: $39.99
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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.


- 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.
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.