Domaine Eden is a mountaintop wine estate purchased by Mount Eden Vineyards in 2007. Modeled after Mount Eden, it was founded and built by the late Tom Mudd in 1983, who initially planted the Mount Eden clonal selections of Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon, which evolved to include Pinot Noir from various Dijon and California selections. This is the former home of Cinnabar Winery.
This property inspired a new wine brand, Domaine Eden, which focuses on Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from this special site and Bordeaux varieties from Mount Eden’s larger home, the Santa Cruz Mountains.
All of the Chardonnay is essentially estate grown at Mount Eden or at Domaine Eden. Prior to bottling the winemaking team tastes through all of these Chardonnay barrels and selects for different personalities. The Domaine Eden Chardonnay is highlighted by forward fruit, earlier drinkability and obvious hedonism and is usually composed of 60% Domaine Eden and 40% Mount Eden fruit but it varies slightly by vintage.
With both the Estate and Domaine Eden Chardonnay, the same principles apply: Barrel fermentation in Burgundy barrels (50% new), natural yeasts and malolactics, aging sur-lie for nine months, no manipulation of the wines and lastly, an obsession to preserve the terroir.
As one would expect, this Chardonnay exhibits classic Mount Eden Burgundian style with detailed aromas and flavors of citrus fruit, anise, dill and earth. More open in personality than the Estate at the same age, yet with all the length of the flagship.
This Pinot Noir is a mosaic of different selections and clones grown at Domaine Eden: Dijon clones 777, 667 and 828 reside alongside the historic California selections Mount Eden, Calera and Swan. Each parcel is farmed to Mount Eden’s strict standards of sustainability, dry farming and low yields.
The same exacting methods employed for the Mount Eden Estate wines are used: natural indigenous fermentations – both primary and secondary, French Burgundy barrels, no fining, filtration or any other manipulation.
Although a mere mile away from Mount Eden as the crow flies, the terroir here is different and it shows. Medium ruby color, complex, earthy red fruit nose, the wine has a suave texture on the palate with richness and balancing elegance. This is a classic Pinot Noir reflective of its unique peak.
The Domaine Eden Cabernet program is a combination of Bordeaux varieties, mainly Cabernet Sauvignon from Mount Eden, Domaine Eden and three exquisite sites in Saratoga and Los Gatos. It is a true Bordeaux blend encompassing the top five Bordeaux grapes varieties: Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot with small additions of Petit Verdot and Malbec. The Mount Eden parameters of low yields, maximum maturity and cool climate viticulture are used to achieve balanced ripeness.
The lots are fermented separately using natural fermentations and French oak. Aging this wine to maturity for two years, no fining or filtration is conducted prior to bottling, just like the Estate regimen. The ultimate goal is a classic Santa Cruz Mountain Cabernet reflecting Domaine Eden’s mid-appellation region.
While the Estate is a singular voice, the Domaine is a chorus. Complex, given the five varieties in the cepage, this Cabernet has aromas of briary currant, sage, mint and sweet oak. Less tannins and acidity on the palate than is evident in the Estate, there is an earlier window of enjoyable drinking.