Saturday, September 5, 2015




"Mount Eden wines remain reference points for the Santa Cruz Mountains."
Antonio Galloni Vinous Media


Mount Eden above the clouds
Mount Eden Vineyards is a small historic wine estate located on a 2000 foot peak in the Santa Cruz Mountain Appellation about 15 miles from the Pacific Ocean. Founded in 1945, it is recognized as one of the original “boutique” California Winery properties focusing on small lots of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. While most of California was producing jug wine Martin Ray started to produce wine from Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes in the 1930s. Following in his footsteps have been such outstanding winemakers such Richard and Peter Graff, Merry Edwards, Bill Anderson and Fred Peterson to continue Martin Ray’s legacy by using the same sites and clones to craft delicious, complex, long-lived estate wines.

Since 1981 Jeffrey Peterson has guided the winemaking and grape growing at Mount Eden.  The continued success of Mount Eden is a tribute to all those visionaries that came before him.
2012 Mount Eden Chardonnay Estate Santa Cruz Mountains
Bottle Price $59.99/bottle

"An utterly enticing, striking wine, the 2012 Chardonnay is captivating from the very first taste. Lemon oil, white flowers and mint are some of the signatures. The 2012 remains subtle and hushed in the glass, with striking interplay of fruit, acidity and bright saline notes. Above all else, the 2012 speaks to pure class. Once again, Mount Eden's Chardonnay stakes its claim as one of this country's oenological jewels. The 2012 appears to have a very bright future. Readers who can find it should not hesitate to pick it up." 
Antonio Galloni Vinous Media 95+ points  Drink 2015-27










Wednesday, June 19, 2013


Stone the Crows: The latest entrant ino the Napa Cabernet sweepstakes suceeds with this flashy wine. is a single vineyard, estate grown wine, produced entirely of fruit from the Three Twins Vineyard. Planted in 2005, the vineyard is the brainchild of Rick Talmadge. Rick, who resides in Bedford, New York, purchased the property, which is located at the 600-foot elevations in the hills above St. Helena on the northern slopes of Lake Hennessy. The vines are pruned to yield no more than three tons per acre

The first public release is the 2010 Stone the Crows Cabernet Sauvignon that received 94 points from the Wine Enthusiast, 92 points from Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate and 91 from Steve Tanzer. It is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, with 5% Petit Verdot, and aged 20 months in 75% new French oak barrels

Josh Clark who is responsible for the development and management of high quality vineyards from one end of the Napa Valley to the other manages the vineyard. The winemaker is Thomas Rivers Brown who began making wine at Turley Vineyards and in 2000, joined the Schrader Cellars team as winemaker and today crafts a brilliant portfolio of classically styled wines. He made history as the youngest winemaker to score not just one, but two perfect "100 point" ratings from Robert M. Parker, The Wine Advocate, for the 2006 Schrader "Old Sparky" and 2006 Schrader CCS Cabernet Sauvignons. In 2010 he followed that up when Senior Editor James Laube, Wine Spectator, awarded two top “100-point” ratings to the 2007 Schrader "Old Sparky" and 2007 Schrader CCS Cabernet Sauvignons.

Monday, June 25, 2012



Located in the southern part of the Cote de Beaune, Chassagne Montrachet shares with Puligny the title of the prince of the world’s dry white wines, the divine Montrachet. This fine, broad hillside brings out the very highest expression of the two Burundian grapes - the Pinot Noir and the Chardonnay, which grows here side-by side - such, is the complexity of the district's terrors. However when one thinks Chassagne Montrachet the first thing that comes to mind is outstanding white wine although 50 percent of their production is still red. Chassagne has three Grand Crus within it border. Criots-Batard Montrachet and shares with Puligny, its neighbor, the Grand Crus of Le Montrachet and Batard Montrachet. Among the more prominent premier crus are Chenevottes, Clos del Maltroie, Cailleret, Chaumees, and Morgeot (Maltroye, Remi Jobard, and Bernard Moreau).The wine boasts a steely powerfulness and profound minerality when young. Age brings fleshiness and mellowness with notes of honey, ripe pear and a finish that is round and often opulent. This makes Chassagne Montrachet an ideal match for chicken, veal, or pork in a rich white sauce. They will easily age for five to ten years.


Puligny Montrachet lies between Chassagne Montrachet to the south and Meursault to the north. While it shares with Chassagne Montrachet the title of, “prince of the world’s dry white wines, the divine Montrachet,” Puligny surely can clam to have the lion’s share of Burgundy’s great white wines. Four of the six white Grand Cru lie within its borders, Chevalier Montrachet and Bienvenues-Batard Montrachet are entirely in its borders, and it shares with Chassagne Montrachet, its neighbor, the two other Grand Cru. Le Montrachet and Batard Montrachet.

Although not equal quality to the Grand Crus, the premier cru produced in Puligny are among the finest of all white wines. Among the more prominent premier cru are Cailleret, Chalumeau, Clavoillon, Combettes, Folatieres, Mouchere, and Pucelles. Some of the better producers are Maison Champy, Henri Boillot, and Matrot.

These Premier Cru located high on the hills are age-worthy wines with complex, concentrated and an elegant enhance by lively fruit and great minerality. The village wines tend to be softer, more accessible with less oak the than the Premier Cru as well as the wines of the of the other Cote de Beaune villages. Perhaps that is because the water table in the village is so near the surface, there are few cellars in the village available to age the wines more than a year. The Grand and Premier Cru are superb matches for Chicken or Veal especially in a mushroom cream sauce while the village wines do very well with shellfish.


Meursault is the largest commune on the Cote d’or and along with Puligny Montrachet and Chassagne Montrachet makes up the trifecta for the production of outstanding chardonnay.

The vineyards of Meursault continue in an unbroken line into Puligny Montrachet. Although it does not have any Grand Crus within its borders the commune enjoys a wealth of excellent village wines and premier cru. The best of their premier cru, Perrière, Charmes, and Genevriere, are high up on the hill, and lie closest to the border of Puligny Montrachet. They are equal in quality to the pre cru of both Montrachet. Tillets and Navaux, also located high up on the hill, are perhaps the finest village wines produced in the Cote de Beaune. Among the better producers are Remi Jobard, Henri Boillot and Patrick Javillier

The wines tend to be rich, soft and succulent with nutty flavors and a silky finish. The premier crus are long and structured with excellent minerality that will age gracefully for a number of years. The wines do well with white meats or shellfish in rich white sauces.