Friday, February 22, 2008

Mount Eden tasting at K&L

K&L's regular Friday tasting focused on Mount Eden winery. Six wines poured in all - three Chardonnays, two Cabs and a Pinot. Owner/Winemaker Jeffrey Patterson was pouring, though I didn't get much of a chance to talk to him as the place was rather busy and I was on a fairly tight schedule.

2006 Wolff Vineyard Chardonnay comes from Edna Valley and is the only wine that Mount Eden make with fruit from outside the SCM AVA. The wine doesn't see as much oak as the estate fruit; consequently you get more of the tropical fruit character. In the past I thought that it seemed a bit expensive when compared to Varner's "Foxglove" label, but at $18 this is certainly worth the money.

2004 "Saratoga Cuvee" Chardonnay is a true second wine; estate grown Chardonnay that didn't get selected for the main label. Apple and lemon with a healthy dose of oak. If this is what didn't make the cut, the 04 Estate should be something special

2003 Estate Chardonnay definitely needs time to come together. After the in-your-face Saratoga Cuvee this seemed much more restrained. Good acidity.

2004 Estate Pinot Noir shows why the Santa Cruz Mountains is great Pinot country. Great fruit, low alcohol - an elegant contrast to the big "Pinotfandels" being made elsewhere. Another one for the cellar. Nice to see a top quality Pinot under $40 for a change.

2003 "Saratoga Cuvee" Cabernet Sauvignon. Unlike the Chardonnay this isn't made from estate fruit, it's made from a handful of small private vineyards around Saratoga area. First time I've had the 03 but the 02 was a firm favourite. Beautiful aromatics, great blackcurrant fruit and vanilla, good finish. Great for drinking now, and good value at $23.

2004 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon. Like the other Estate wines, it's made with the cellar in mind; this one should be locked away for a good few years. It's light and balanced with good fruit and structure.

There you go - six wines; three to drink now, all under $25 and three for the cellar, all under $40. Proof (if proof were needed) that the Santa Cruz Mountains offers excellent value for money.

I notice that K&L will be tasting Kathryn Kennedy wines on March 14th - that's another one not to be missed.