Mount Eden Vineyards Santa Cruz Mountain Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 95pts
One of California's original boutique wineries stands above the fog line in the Santa Cruz mountains. Mount Eden Vineyards is a small historic wine estate perched at 2000 feet overlooking Silicon Valley in the Santa Cruz Mountain Appellation, about 50 miles south of San Francisco. Founded in 1945, it focuses on small lots of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon. The cooler climate and higher elevation is where we believe Cabernet Sauvignon really shines in this 2015 vintage.
The heritage of Mount Eden Cabernet Sauvignon dates back to the 1890s, when the famed viticulturist Emmett Rixford of Woodside, California, obtained selected cuttings from Chateau Margaux in Bordeaux, France. Rixford planted his famous La Questa Vineyard with these selections, in the same proportions as found at Margaux.
In the late 1940s Martin Ray planted his first Cabernet vineyard with cuttings from the La Questa Vineyard. The present-day Estate Cabernet Sauvignon vines were planted in the early 1980s using cuttings taken from these vines. Yields are low, typically one to two tons per acre. Soils are very thin (1-12 inches), with a dominant base of Franciscan shale. The climate is cool, especially for Cabernet, and influenced by the vineyard’s altitude and its proximity to San Francisco bay and the Pacific Ocean. The vines are trellised in a modern fashion, which allows for a more uniform ripening. The vineyard also contains small blocks of Merlot and Cabernet Franc.
Since 1981 Jeffrey Patterson (UC Berkely and UC Davis) 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.
“This iconic winery continues to offer wines with personalities and styles that set them apart (especially the Estate wines) from just about anything else readers will taste from California.” Robert Parker Jr’s. Wine Advocate
Aged for 22 months in Bordeaux French oak, then bottled unfiltered and unfined for 2 years before release.
95 Points Decanter
The rocky minerality of the region shows from first sniff through to the lengthy finish. The earthiness is beautifully offset by fleshy red and black fruit, with spice-infused cherry, bittersweet chocolate, espresso and vanilla notes. For all its youthful intensity, the palate is remarkably fresh and bright.
94 Points Wine Advocate
In all my years, I've never seen a Cabernet vintage like 2015, in terms of yield, Jeffrey Patterson tells me. "We had very low yields. The vines didn't have clusters. It was the tail end of the drought, and the year before was so dry. Normally, small yields are caused by shatter at bloom. But in 2015, it was just an absence of clusters." The 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate is a blend of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot and was aged almost entirely in new barrels. It has a medium to deep ruby color and is more powerful and intense on the nose than the 2015 version, with aromas of blackcurrant bud, cassis, bay leaf, pencil shavings, dark chocolate and cedar with savory/meaty hints, plus tons of red fruit sparks and licorice hints. It's medium to full-bodied with intense, ripe fruits laced with savory and herbal accents. It has a frame of juicy acidity and grainy, ripe tannins, finishing very long and energetic.
93 Points Wine Enthusiast
This is savory style of Cab from a mountainside site, starting with aromas of roast beef, crushed asphalt and dark seared elderberry fruits. Black plum and more elderberry show on the sip, but the focus of the smoothed out tannic profile is showcasing rocky soil-driven flavors, with hints of olive and charred meat toward the finish.
"This is savory style of Cab from a mountainside site, starting with aromas of roast beef, crushed asphalt and dark seared elderberry fruits. Black plum and more elderberry show on the sip, but the focus of the smoothed out tannic profile is showcasing rocky soil-driven flavors, with hints of olive and charred meat toward the finish." 14 % Alc. Content.
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