Tag Archives: Mount Eden

Sanford & Benedict: Historic Vineyard’s Story Told for First Time by Co-Founder

In sum, it appears evident that Richard Sanford and Michael Benedict’s instincts regarding planting in a cooler site like this portion of the Santa Ynez Valley certainly paid off. They also appear to have been fortunate in getting a good selection of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from Karl Wente as the base for their vineyard. They also lucked into benefiting from the Santa Rita Hills’s soils, which seem to have a special affinity for Pinot Noir. Continue reading

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California Chardonnay Entering Its Golden Age?

A number of Golden State Chardonnays I’ve sampled in recent months has me thinking there are now a host of appealing, balanced and complex California Chardonnays available. Hallelujah! Maybe California’s most widely planted grape has at last entered its golden era. Continue reading

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Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot: Challenging Conditions, Occasional Brilliance

Planting vines in the cool, high altitude Santa Cruz Mountains is a quixotic endeavor. Trying to grow and make great wine out of notoriously fickle Pinot Noir in these climes is particularly challenging. Nonetheless, a few driven producers over the years have made some brilliant, minerally, complex, cool climate Pinot in these parts. Continue reading

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California Wine Gets More Diverse: The Balance Movement

It’s an exciting time to be following the wine industry in California. Things are changing. The dominance of big, fruit-forward, super-ripe wines is starting to fade. The diversity of wine styles available to the consumer is growing. This includes lower alcohol, higher acid, more minerally wines that winemakers are striving for by picking earlier, growing in cooler locations, and using less new oak, among other things. Continue reading

Posted in California Wine, Chardonnay, Oregon, Pinot Noir, Winemakers | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Mount Eden: One of California’s Oldest and Greatest Producers

Mount Eden produces some of the most admirable, consistent and ageworthy expressions of terroir to be found anywhere in California. Their wines—Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon from the estate vineyard at the top of Table Mountain, 2000 feet above the Silicon Valley town of Saratoga–have gone from strength to strength in the past two decades. Continue reading

Posted in Cabernet Sauvignon, California Wine, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Santa Cruz Mountains, Winemakers | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

The Many Moods of Pinot Noir

So what are the different styles of Pinot Noir? Since so many growers and winemakers refer to it as a “fickle” grape, explaining that it is both hard to grow and often tricky to make wine out of, perhaps we should refer to the “moods” of Pinot rather than styles. Continue reading

Posted in Pinot Noir, Russian River, Santa Cruz Mountains, Santa Lucia Highlands, Sonoma Coast | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

2011 Pinot on the River: Delicious Sonoma Pinot Noirs

The very top producers at this tasting, for me, responsible for one or more wines I rated 92 points or higher, were Balletto, Benovia, Big Basin, Keefer Ranch, Littorai, Mount Eden, Small Vines, Sojourn and Windy Oaks. Continue reading

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