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Mount Eden Vineyards Estate Bottled Chardonnay 1998

Mount Eden Vineyards:
The genesis of Mount Eden Vineyards was the arrival of Burgundian winemaker Paul Masson to San Jose, California, in 1878. Masson soon established a vineyard and winery in the Santa Cruz Mountains near Mount Eden, where he became a well know bon vivant. Martin Ray, who grew up in the foothills below Mount Eden, became acquainted with the charismatic Frenchman and, shortly after Prohibition... Read more
The genesis of Mount Eden Vineyards was the arrival of Burgundian winemaker Paul Masson to San Jose, California, in 1878. Masson soon established a vineyard and winery in the Santa Cruz Mountains near Mount Eden, where he became a well know bon vivant. Martin Ray, who grew up in the foothills below Mount Eden, became acquainted with the charismatic Frenchman and, shortly after Prohibition's repeal, purchased Paul Masson's Champagne Company. Notoriety came quickly. At a time when most California wines were blended from various, often inferior, grape varieties, noble grapes like Chardonnay and Pinot Noir were virtually unknown. The mercurial Ray began producing 100% varietal table wines, boasting that California could vinify world class wines to rival those of France. In the 1930s, it seemed a ridiculous, foolhardy claim. Wanting to establish his own brand, Ray sold the Paul Masson property in 1943 and, that following year purchased a higher peak to the north, Mount Eden. In 1945 he planted his first vineyard there. The varieties were Pinot Noir and Chardonnay (Cabernet Sauvignon was added in the 1950's), and the mountain became his home. Ray named his wine domain simply "Martin Ray." Read less

Tasting Notes:

Tasting notes at release: It's been a full two years since we've introduced a new vintage of this wine to you. After the '97 release we decided to postpone the debut of the '98 a full year to allow the wine to relax and come into full expression. We're glad we did. Three years after harvest is a good time to begin to enjoy the Estate Chardonnay. 1998 was a memorable year for those of us who live in Northern California. Ninety days of measurable precipitation fell (is this California or England?). As expected during the critical grape flowering, not a whole lot of berries were produced and our usually small yielding vineyards were even smaller. Late and small was the hand dealt in '98. Yet fortunately, the weather in the Fall got back on track and we received, albeit slowly, our blessing of beautifully ripe Chardonnay fruit. Mysterious and composed in the aromas with toast, mint, clove, and allspice nuances, the '98 has full entry on the palate and completeness through to the finish. Fermented in all new Burgundy barrels, aged on the yeast lees for nine months, this vintage was bottled unfined but lightly filtered. Enjoyable drinking should be expected for the next 7-10 years.

1122 Cases produced.


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