TN: 2011 Mount Eden Vineyards Chardonnay Santa Cruz Mountains

14.5% abv. Medium golden straw, expressive aromatics. On the palate, peach, citrus and green apple. Excellent depth and length. Grippy, vibrant and essentially weightless. Exceptional balance. Every bit the equal of the '11 Monte Bello cab I tasted yesterday. Outstanding! Best Chardonnay I’ve tasted in a while. Tastes like it has years of positive development ahead. (97 pts.)

Posted from CellarTracker

Damn, I missed this one. Had a lot of '09 (a few bottles left), still own a bunch of '12. After that, it’s on to 2014 (way too young).

Without ever having tasted it, I can almost guarantee you that there are years of positive development ahead.
I’ve had at least 20 vintages of this wine.
As Dylan said: “Forever Young”.

I’ve got one each of 1997 and 1999 left; hope to open them this summer if Sally and I can get close enough to other people. I’ve got almost a full case of 2005, only gonna pull corks when the occasion warrants. No hurry for that wine, it’s still on the upswing.

Is Mount Eden the best Chardonnay producer in the world?

Dan Kravitz

I’d be tempted to say “no” but I’ve only had a few, and it’s been a number of years. But that’s a pretty lofty title considering the other options out there from Chablis, Burgundy, Jura, etc. You’ll have to convince me, Dan. [cheers.gif]

These are great chards, and even better with about 25 years of age. I had one from the mid 80’s about 5 years ago, and it was incredible.

I had the pleasure of tasting this wine on Mount Eden’s porch and I remember thinking it was fabulous. Sadly I don’t think it was ever released here, or maybe I missed it. I own and have tasted some of the '09, which IMO is more flabby and rich than the '11, perhaps a tad tropical. I remember the '11 being incredibly elegant and much more orchard/citrus driven. Wish I had some of the '11 kicking around.

Oh and on the same trip I tasted the '11 Monte Bello and was enamored with it. Luckily I’ve been able to acquire 4 bottles of that!


I don’t know if Mt Eden Chard is the greatest Chardonnay in the world, but it’s up there and people can buy it.

You have to be a key account and spend a lot of money to get a bottle of Coche, Lafon, Roulot, et al.

It’s available from the winery:

Thanks for this…been patiently holding mine.

I brought this wine to an offline last year and agree it was outstanding. Ordered 2 more on the way home :slight_smile:

2011 Mount Eden Vineyards Chardonnay Santa Cruz Mountains - USA, California, San Francisco Bay, Santa Cruz Mountains (9/17/2019)
Rhys Dinner (Golden Triangle, Los Gatos): Golden color. The nose was super expressive and rich with notes of melon, citrus, apples, and popcorn. With additional air, also peach and tropical fruit flavors came through. Good acidity with quite full body and silky/oily texture and notes of lemon and apples on the palate. Long finish. This needed a lot of air and is definitely on the heavier side of Chardonnays for my preference, but I really liked it. (95 pts.)

In the US, I’d put Stony Hill 1st.

You know, I’m not going to argue with you! But I’ve only had about half a dozen Stony Hills, probably none older than ~12 years. Incredibly impressive. I just wish there was an easy and reasonably priced way to grab a handful of older bottles and give them a try. I know the history and reputation. But IIRC, didn’t they change hands a few years ago?

The thing about Mount Eden is that even when young, one whiff and you know you are in the presence of great wine. And if there is such a thing as ‘too old’, I haven’t gotten there yet. From memory, the oldest I had was about 25 years young.

Dan Kravitz

Know you’re discussing estate Chardonnay but the Edna Valley Chardonnay is fantastic at the $20ish price point. Actually opened a bottle of the 2015 tonight.

100% duty if direct shipped to Canada : (


Great note, Mike!

I have never had the 2011, but I neither have I ever had any vintage that wasn’t great.

For this humble swiller Mt Eden is neck and neck with Hanzell at the top of the New World chard pecking order. Kistler maybe in the mix.

Speaking of Monte Bello cab, Ridge’s Monte Bello chard can be amazing as well.

The best chardonnays I have had in the past few years:
1992 Au Bon Climat Sanford and Benedict…Jim opened this at a dinner at Heirloom in SF two winters ago…blew everybody s mind. Fresh as a daisy.
1997 Marcassin

I ve also had some wonderful old Chalones but not lately.

I drink my Mt Eden too fast. Ditto Kistler. Hanzell is good but I don’t drink it often.

Ditto on the old Chalones!

At the risk of thread drift, can anyone name a better producer of cab, chard AND pinot than Mt Eden? I can’t.


I have had older Mondavi cabs, pinots, and chardonnays that really surprised me. A friend in Burgundy serves an older Mondavi Pinots and Chardonnays blind and everyone is fooled …always.

Anyway, this thread has me combing through my cellar looking for a Mt Eden wine old enough to open. I end up opening them too young.

Mel, I don’t believe I’ve ever had a Mondavi pinot. Need to rectify that. The cabs are of course classic.

Back to Chalone – I used to enjoy their pinots too, but haven’t had one in quite some time.

Mike – apologies again for the drift!

Kelly, those old Chalones were brilliant, absolutely brilliant - and I continue to believe that the Chalone terroir is exceptional - as is the fabulous Santa Cruz Mountain terroir!

The SCM has producers like Mount Eden, Rhys and Ridge. Chalone AVA is waiting, I think, for a producer like this to once again uncover its brilliance.