2017 Mount Eden Vineyards Edna Valley Chardonnay

Year: 2017
Appellation: Edna Valley
Country: USA-California
Wine Spectator: 87
Wine Advocate: 93
Vinous Media: 90
Wine Enthusiast: 93
White Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 14.0%
Price :
$18.95

2020 WINE ENTHUSIAST TOP 100: #44

"Accents of caramelized onions to baked apple and dried pear flavors. Spicy finish has buttery notes. Drink now. 4,598 cases made. -KM" (WS)

"This comes mostly from the Wolf vineyard with some fruit from the Middle Ranch vineyard. The 2017 Edna Valley Chardonnay opens with wonderful aromas of honeycomb, orange blossoms, saline, crushed shell and loads of baked apple and quince with an earthy undercurrent. The palate is medium-bodied, satiny and intense, with seamless freshness on the finish, which lingers with honeyed notions.

Jeffrey Patterson was reticent to make pronouncements on quality when I asked him about the latest vintages at Mount Eden. “2016, 2017 and 2018 are wines in progress for me,” he explains. “I haven’t focused on their ultimate quality. It takes a while for me to formulate a strong opinion about a vintage until it’s been in bottle at least five or six years. Our wines tend to age really slowly, and it’s also an emphasis we have in our winemaking. I focus on longevity because if I do my job correctly, I can make wines that age 25 years. The vineyards have that potential. It’s always been a mystery to me why this place, this mountain, can have such longevity. It’s a signature of the Santa Cruz Mountains, that long term ageability.” Stylistically, he links the wines to those of France. “I always get a certain impression from these wines,” he says. “More soil-driven notes, more tannin and acid, lower alcohol than most California wines—a lot of the character of French wines. But they also have a generosity and richness typical of California. Every year, I don’t know why, we get a style of wine that has both. It’s an elevation-based appellation, and you have to be above the fog. But it’s not connected to any other California wine region. The Santa Cruz Mountains stands alone.”

Patterson has a unique perspective on the appellation where he has made wine since 1981. “From 1981 to 2013, we started picking in September,” he recalls. “In 2014 to 2017, we started picking in August. I’m particularly happy with the 2014 vintage. The wines came out really strong across the board. It was the nadir of the drought. We had incredibly little rainfall—14 inches all year. I’ve never recorded that number before in my life. But the wines turned out very round, full, plush and really delicious. But I think the effect of the 2014 vintage was manifested more in 2015. The 2015s have much more of an angularity to them, much more of a drought influence. 2016 broke the drought. It was almost normal in terms of our winter rain. We don’t do any irrigation. We started harvesting on August 19, slightly later than in 2015.”

Ellie Patterson noted, “We had the heat spike too in 2017. It was 106 degrees for two days. But it was a relatively cool summer otherwise. We had picked quite a bit of the estate fruit before the heat wave.” " (WA)

"The 2017 Chardonnay Edna Valley is soft, open and inviting. Tangerine peel, almond, lemon confit and tropical notes infuse the 2017 with lovely character and textural richness, all in the mid-weight style that is typical of the Mount Eden wines. In 2017, the Edna Valley is a blend of fruit from several vineyards in the appellation. This is such a pretty wine, and a fabulous value to boot." (VM)

"Pleasantly briny hints of sea spray and beach dew meet with golden nuts and dried lemon peels in the intensely complex nose of this bottling. The texture is compelling, leading into full flavors of lemon balm, salted macadamia nuts, orange rind and creamy guava peel. -Matt Kettmann " (WE)