Old-World-Styled Pinot Noir From California

Today’s Story: Mount Eden Vineyards

Mount Eden Vineyards was established in 1945 in the Santa Cruz Mountain Appellation of California, with a focus of crafting small lots of Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, and Pinot Noir. Located at an elevation of 2,000 feet above the Santa Clara Valley floor, Mount Eden Vineyards is widely considered one of the first “boutique” California wineries and remains true to this philosophy today. Mount Eden believes every bottle is an expression of their terroir and thus winemaker Jeffrey Patterson spends most of his time in the vineyards connecting to his fruit and vines and centering his efforts on producing quality (not high-quantity) fruit. Part of Jeffrey’s focus in the vineyards is also making sure that this land will produce quality fruit for generations to come, so he feels deeply connected to the need to care for his vineyards. In the cellar, Jeffrey practices minimal intervention and all fruit is handled gently before going through fermentation using only natural yeasts. For more on the history of this wonderful winery, check out their website here.

Today’s Wine: 2015 Pinot Noir

100% Pinot Noir; 13.5% ABV

The 2015 Pinot Noir is pale ruby in color and moderately opaque. This is incredibly young and needs a couple hours to open up, but once it does the nose showcases aromas of cherry, black raspberry, black olive, mint, freshly ground green herbs, pine, charred cedar, leather, rocky earth, and incense. Once on the palate, the wine displays notes of tart cherry, dried strawberry, boysenberry, crunchy cranberry, red licorice, rose petal, sweet tobacco, scorched earth, underbrush, rocky minerality, and exotic spice. This is medium-bodied with an incredibly elegant and velvety mouthfeel, vibrant medium (+) acidity, medium (-) tannins, and a long finish. 936 cases produced.

Price: $65. This is an incredibly high-quality Pinot Noir that drinks on par or better than many $100 Pinot Noirs I’ve enjoyed. The one thing to keep in mind, though, is you need to be patient with this and give it at least another 5-7 years of bottle age. Pair this with rack of lamb, herb grilled pork chops, or eggplant parmigiana.