• Learys Liquor Cabinet

Longest Lineage of Pinot Noir in California - Mount Eden Vineyard 🍷

The Holidays are approaching fast, and it can be challenging to choose wines that complement all the fare that comes with Thanksgiving dinner. Today, Armando has a chosen food-friendly wine from California that is sure to delight all who attend your holiday gatherings.

Mount Eden Vineyards Estate Pinot Noir 2017


Travel with us to where the Saratoga Creek drifts beside a bucolic two-mile stretch of road about 50 miles south of San Francisco. Massive boulders push through the earth as the car climbs to an elevation of 2000 feet through the Santa Cruz Mountain Appellation. You can reach out the window and touch the layers of earth that have produced award-winning wines since 1945. The terrain here lets you know that it is old, but it is still vibrant and the wines from Mount Eden prove it.

Estate History

Mount Eden Vineyards founded in 1945, is recognized as one of the original “boutique” California winery properties, focusing on small lots of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Cabernet Sauvignon. Mount Eden’s lineage of estate-bottled Chardonnay and Pinot Noir is the longest in California.

Planted in austere, infertile Franciscan shale on a cool, exposed mountaintop, these low-yielding estate vineyards have consistently produced world-class wines for over a half-century. In 2007 Mount Eden acquired an additional 55-acre wine estate in the Saratoga foothills, which was christened Domaine Eden.

Since 1981 Jeffrey Patterson has guided the winemaking and grape growing at Mount Eden. His emphasis is on wine growing rather than winemaking, and an obsession with gentleness and naturalness in the handling of the grapes and wines is his ongoing passion.

Main Points for Presentation:

•1/3 Whole Cluster Fermentation

•Burgundian Style

•Longest lineage of Pinot Noir in North America

•Good structure, acid, and tannin for aging

•Fermented in small open-top, one-ton capacity fermentors

•Ages on the lees—This gives the wine more terroir character

•No fining or filtration before bottling •7 acres of Pinot Noir farmed at Mount Eden; Mount Eden clone

Winemakers Notes

The 2017 growing season was beautiful with ample rain in the winter and just-right temperatures in the spring and summer. The harvest commenced at the very end of August and concluded at the beginning of September, which is early when you look back at 40 years of harvest starts, but now it is the norm. We employ about 30% whole cluster fermentation. These grapes are incorporated into the open-top fermentors along with the destemmed berries. The result is a wine with more energy and nuance and, with age, develops the magic of Pinot Noir’s complexity. The whole cluster additions add weight and intensity, which is the intention. Enticing wild strawberries and plum aromas are full bore. The mouthfeel is linear in intensity with fine tension on the palate with flavors of blackberry, pastille, and lovely plum sorbet. Given our history, expect bottle development for twenty years, and a drinking plateau thereafter.

Critical Acclaim

95 points

Robert Parker Wine Advocate

The 2017 Pinot Noir Estate offers savory, layered aromas of earth and laurel, charcuterie, and orange peel, with amaro-laced red and blackberries. The palate is grainy and fresh, with a kaleidoscope of spices and a very long finish. It’s incredibly appealing now but will benefit from a long decant.

93 points

Antonio Galloni Vinous

The 2017 Pinot Noir is a very pretty, open-knit wine. Crushed rose petal, sweet red berry, mint, cedar, and sweet pipe tobacco give the 2017 striking aromatic presence. In 2017, the Mount Eden Pinot is a decidedly forward, silky wine that looks like it will offer its best drinking sooner rather than later. The 2017 was done with 33% whole clusters and saw 50% new barrels.

92 points

Wine Enthusiast Magazine

There’s intense pine and redwood spice to the nose and palate of this bottling, which begins with aromas of cooked cranberry, vanilla, and nutmeg. There’s a splash of acid on the tip of the sip, where smoked strawberry and grilled berry flavors meet with oregano and singed oak smoke.

90 points Wine Spectator

Notes of cedar and wild spice accent the ripe, well-knit red berry, boysenberry, and dark plum flavors. Coffeeberry accents chime in on the broad and juicy finish. Drink now through 2024.

18 points

18 (about 93-95 on the 100-pt. scale)

Grown at 2,000 ft (610 m) elevation on the original Mount Eden estate. Roughly 1,150 cases made.

Lovely scents of raspberry and chopped green herbs. Faint tannins wrap around a core of pretty raspberry fruit tinged with raspberry-leaf and tomato-leaf notes. Clear signatures of whole-cluster fermentation with the herbal notes that linger into the finish. Beautifully balanced and juicy. Confidently compelling. (AY)

Food Pairing

Turkey or Chicken.

Food-friendly wine.