You get a big bang for your buck with Mount Eden’s 2015 Chardonnay. Full, lush tropical fruit dominates this wine’s aromas and flavors, and it is a premier example of Central Coast Chardonnay. Jeffrey Patterson, a much-respected winemaker round these parts, has been at the helm of Mount Eden since the early ’80s, and he continues to turn out excellent wines.
Grapes are harvested from Wolff Vineyard in the bucolic Edna Valley near San Luis Obispo—an ideal grape-growing region resulting in the best possible fruit. This is the 31st year that Mount Eden has been making premier Chardonnay from Edna Valley, receiving many awards along the way. The 2015 Chard won 90 points from Wine Enthusiast magazine and 88 points from Wine Spectator.
This reasonably priced Mount Eden Edna Valley 2015 Chardonnay can be found in stores all over for about $20. Barrel-fermented and aged on the lees (“lees” refers to deposits of dead yeast) for 10 months, Mount Eden gives the same care to these barrels as they give to their more expensive estate wines.
Mount Eden says that 2015 was another drought-influenced year “with the crop being miniscule and the flavors magnified,” and the result is a nose of earthy complexity with notes of white flowers and guava. Rich and subtle on the palate, it’s enhanced with flavors of lemon and toasty oak.
Mount Eden does not have a tasting room, but you can make an appointment for an “intimate tour” of the original upper wine cellar and learn the history of the winery. Note: It’s at 2,000 feet and located up a two-mile private road. No tasting is offered on the tour.
Mount Eden Vineyards, 888-865-9463. mounteden.com.
Quote from a Local Winemaker
“The fun part for me is controlling as many of the variables in growing fruit and making wine as I can, but, as mortals, we love the minor variations that Mother Nature adds to each year’s vintage. For us, it’s like opening a Christmas present. You kind of know what is in the box but are not quite sure what’s in there till the final wrapper comes off!”