2010 Mount Eden "Estate" Santa Cruz Mountains Chardonnay

SKU #1129351 95 points Vinous

 Mount Eden's 2010 Chardonnay is stunning. Honeysuckle, tangerine, apricot, and crème brulee literally jump from the glass A vivid, exotic wine, the 2010 is constantly changing in the glass. Stylistically, the 2010 is a little richer than Mount Eden fans are used to, but all the elements are in the right place. The 2010 verges on the edge of tropical aromas and flavors that are quite rare for young Mount Eden Chardonnays. Ideally, the 2010 is best left alone for a few years to allow some of the baby fat to drop off. I imagine it will always be a bit on the exotic side. I remain convinced the Mount Eden Pinot Noir Estate and Chardonnay Reserve are among the greatest wines being made in California today. As usual, the Mount Eden Chardonnay spends about ten months in oak prior to being bottled, while the Reserve gets an additional six or so months in tank. Mount Eden fans will also want to check out the Domaine Eden wines, which deliver superb quality for the money.  (7/2013)

93 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Bright yellow-gold. A powerfully scented bouquet evokes Meyer lemon, poached pear, vanilla, smoky minerals and chamomile, with hints of anise and iodine emerging with aeration. Palate-staining orchard fruit and lemon curd flavors are deepened notes of candied fig and buttered toast while maintaining their energy. Closes on a smoky note, with excellent focus, breadth and sappy persistence.  (12/2013)

92 points Wine & Spirits

 Panelist Eugenio Jardin praised this wine’s texture, seeing an appetizing and evolved character brought about by barrel fermention and aging: 'It was almost past the point of being oak; it’s what oak becomes.' With air the acidity of Chardonnay planted at 2,000 feet picks up where the oak leaves off, carrying seashell and honey tones in a broad and decadent beam of flavor. *Year's Best Chardonnays*  (10/2014)

91 points Connoisseurs Guide

 Mount Eden hits the marks smartly in 2010 with this very deep, carefully-composed Chardonnay. It is concentrated and quite rich, yet it is exceptionally well-structured and still seems on the youthful side. It has great fruity presence but goes well beyond simple fruitiness in its reach with neatly juxtaposed elements of minerals, dusty soil, freshly baked bread and cautious oak spice as adjuncts to its ripe-apple motif. It is approaching its fourth birthday with lots in reserve, and it has the balance and serious substance of a wine that will improve for another half-decade or more.  (5/2014)

K&L Notes

Mount Eden has one of California's heritage vineyards of Chardonnay, first planted by experimental vintner Martin Ray in the 1940s. His budwood source, in turn, was the old Paul Masson vineyard, thought to have originated from cuttings from great Burgundian plots. Yields average lower than for much of the Chardonnay grown in California.

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Price: $59.99

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- 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.

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.
Alcohol Content (%): 14.2