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“What a gorgeous wine the 2008 is turning out to be ... 96 rating.”Antonio Galloni
“If I were to present to a visiting European the wines of just one California winery to demonstrate the originality of California wine, I’d choose Mount Eden.”Matt Kramer on Mount Eden
As far back as the early 1970s, Mount Eden enjoyed a special place in the hearts of California Chardonnay lovers. But then in the 1990s, it ascended to a higher plane, taking its place alongside the greatest white Burgundies, thanks to its 275-case-production Reserve Chardonnay.
The Reserve Chardonnay is essentially built on the foundation of the Estate Chardonnay. It's a special selection of the best lots that are given an additional six months on the lees in tank without racking. This follows the same ten months of barrel aging the Estate wine enjoys.
In Antonio Galloni's words, this is “a reductive approach favored by a number of top growers in Burgundy, including (Domaine) Leflaive and Roulot.” The result is a wine of greater aromatic complexity, richer texture, heightened minerality and soil expression and slower aging curve than the Estate Chardonnay.
It is also the most profound expression of Mount Eden's unique cool climate, Franciscan slate terroir, where the vines produce naturally low yields, intense minerality, vibrant acidity and restrained alcohol.
When the 2008 Reserve Chardonnay was released in 2012, we were fortunate to buy a few cases directly from Mount Eden. (That's one of the benefits of being based in Northern California.) Sensing the wine's great potential, we decided not to offer it immediately, but to give it a few additional years of perfect cellaring at The Rare Wine Co.
That was a good call, to say the least, as the wine has gone from strength to strength, with still plenty of potential development ahead.
Even if you don't normally drink California Chardonnay, we urge you to grab this rarity. Set against what's happening to the price of White Burgundy of this stature—especially with extraordinary provenance like ours—these bottles are a prize.
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