96pts Jeb Dunnuck
Seeing roughly one-third whole clusters and a mix of new and neutral oak, the 2015 Pinot Noir Estate is another terrific wine from this benchmark estate. Possessing a more structured, backward feel as well as a deep, powerful nose of black currants, charcoal, and scorched earth, this is a serious, age-worthy Pinot Noir that needs 3-4 years of bottle age yet will see its 20th birthday in fine form.
96pts Wine Enthusiast
Brilliantly fresh and snappy black raspberry aromas lead into a savory streak of mulberry-laced pork fat, hickory and tobacco smoke, with a hint of crushed slate on this wine’s fascinating and shape-shifting nose. Peppery spice grips the palate immediately, then splashes fresh red plum and pomegranate flavors around, finishing on white pepper, cracked nutmeg and unrelenting tension.
94pts Wilfred Wong
For more than four decades, the Mount Eden Vineyards Estate Pinot Noir has been "desert island" wine. The 2015 vintage is a treat for the senses. This wine is perky and sassy. Its aromas and flavors of pure red fruit and savory earth would make it a treat to serve with a slow-roasted rosemary-accented leg of lamb, and a few wine-loving friends to share the experience. (Tasted: August 20, 2018, San Francisco, CA)
92pts Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Pale to medium ruby-purple, the 2015 Pinot Noir Estate offers up aromas of strawberry jam, raspberry preserves, charcuterie, rose petal, wild blackberries and Earl Grey tea leaves. In the mouth, it's light to medium-bodied with minerally fruits framed softly by grainy tannins and integrated freshness, finishing long.
Martin Ray planted Pinot Noir at Mount Eden in 1945. The budwood came from Paul Masson’s original vineyard near Mount Eden. Because Masson was a good friend of the Louis Latour family of Burgundy, it is likely the selection came from one of Latour’s finest vineyards and was brought by Masson to California during the 1880s. The faith Ray demonstrated in this difficult red wine variety, at a time when America had little appreciation of fine wine, was remarkable. Today, Pinot Noir vines occupy seven acres of the estate vineyard and typically yield a meager one to one-and-a-half tons per acre.
Due to the soils in the vineyard, the Estate Pinot Noirs’ elegant, transparent style is more Burgundian than Californian, emphasizing wild strawberry, earth, blueberry, and dill varietal characters. Cellaring the wine from five to twelve years pays handsome rewards.