Villa Mt. Eden Pinot - Printable Version

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- Innkeeper - 09-23-2001 12:23 PM

1999 Villa Mt. Eden, Coastal, California, Pinot Noir ($9.99). Have been hearing all sorts of wonderful things about this wine for over a year. Respectable commentators have used such terms as "best value in a pinot" or "best value in a wine." Problem was, I couldn't find it anywhere, or forgot to look for it in the right place. Did pick up a couple of bottles in Fall River, MA on our most recent trip. Popped one of them last night. Now, I would like to get on the bandwagon.

Villa Mt. Eden winemaker, Mike McGrath, also puts together excellent upscale wines for Mt. Eden, but he still carefully crafts this one from grapes from Santa Barbera, Monterey, and Sonoma valleys for we mere minions. The wine is a living statement of why we need a Coastal AVA. To have to label it with the California AVA is a travesty.

Approaching the wine, one gets a strong impression of cherries. It has a dark cherry color, unlike the medium ruby of most pinots. Then you get fresh red cherries on the nose and the tongue tip. You experience full body (13.5%) with dark cherry fruit, along with lovely complexity and even earthy nuances, and silky smooth tannin across the palate, and a happy, lingering finish. Matched delightfully with garnished sauteed ham slices in a brandy/wine cream sauce.

It is very unusual to get the full varietal experience of pinot, such as Columbia Crest Grand Estate Cabernet does for cab, in a wine at this price point. They both telegraph to you exactly what to expect several price points up the chain. The Villa Mt. Eden definitely lives up to its hype.

[This message has been edited by Innkeeper (edited 09-24-2001).]

- Bucko - 09-23-2001 06:48 PM

Oak? VME usually pushes my oak limits....

- Innkeeper - 09-24-2001 05:19 AM

Just a tad.

- wondersofwine - 09-24-2001 08:18 AM

Sounds like a great bargain. I will look for that brand.

- Bucko - 09-24-2001 08:24 PM

Good to hear......

- Drew - 09-26-2001 06:49 PM

IK, have you tried the '98 and what did you think and how does it compare to the '99?


- Innkeeper - 09-26-2001 06:56 PM

The '99 pinot was the first wine from VME that we've ever tried.

- Bucko - 09-26-2001 09:08 PM

My note on one:

1998 Villa Mt. Eden, Pinot Noir, Grand Reserve, Santa Maria Valley, $20. This impeccably balanced wine leads off with dried red cherry and tea aromas, followed by rich, red fruit flavors, leather, and nicely integrated oak. Good value.

- winecollector - 09-27-2001 02:45 PM

They have a very nice Cabernet Sauvignon that I buy for an everyday drinker at $8.99 a bottle. A suprisingly good wine for so little money. Definately worth trying.

- Tom 1960 - 09-27-2001 06:02 PM

Essentially still a novice at this thing I've stuck to the cabs melot and shiraz to this point,now I think it's time I should investigate the pinot noir. I need to make a purchase in the next day or so for the weekend,I'll attempt to search this one out at my local shop.

- Innkeeper - 01-12-2002 09:58 PM

Had to do a church dinner tonight consisting of baked ham, scalloped potatoes, tossed salad, and assorted pies; all for $6. As you might guess, no wine. So, I'm sitting here now, watching football, and sipping VME Pinot.

- Innkeeper - 06-13-2002 07:49 AM

The 2000 vintage of VME Pinot is drinking as well or better than earlier vintages. Have been churning through a half case my local dealer had to special order for us (yeah, this is not a major market!). Last night we had one with simply grillpanned smoked pork chops. Very nice. Can't understand why Andrea Immer didn't include it in her new book. She was one of those who initially put me onto it. Maybe it isn't distributed widely enough.

The $ (up to $12) pinots Andrea included are: Beringer Founder's Estate, Duck Pond, Firesteed, Gallo of Sonoma, Lindeman's Bin 99, Meridian, and Turning Leaf.

- zenda2 - 06-13-2002 08:54 AM

I'd add the basic bottling of Bridgeview to Andrea's List as well.

- wondersofwine - 06-13-2002 02:14 PM

Timing! I just bought a bottle of Bridgeview last weekend and will probably try it in the next two or three weeks along with a somewhat higher end Oregonian pinot noir.

- Auburnwine - 06-15-2002 09:08 PM

I took a bottle of the 99 VME to a blind Pinot tasting a couple of months ago. We determined that it was the equal of the other five Pinots, all of which ranged from $20 - $30. It's readily available at our Kroger grocery for $9.99.

The 99 is as good or better than the 98.

- Auburnwine - 06-15-2002 09:10 PM

PS -

The Firesteed is light, light, light.

If you see the Rosemont 98, it is quite pleasant. I found one $2 bottle in a grocery store close-out bin in Sylacauga, Alabama. Life is good.

- Drew - 06-17-2002 05:39 AM

IK, I also enjoyed the 2000 last night with a simple fare of grilled chicken and taters with field greens. A well balanced, medium bodied pinot with nice scents and flavors of the cherry spectrum. Nothing over the top and seemless with a nice finish. Will be getting more. 13.5% Alc/vol. $10.99


- vinman - 06-21-2002 10:17 PM

Bridgeview Pinot and Villa Mt Eden. Mt. Eden is a much better quaffer! No nonsense! Recent vintage of Bridgeview is too tart, lacking in fruit, and is just plain...plain!

- wondersofwine - 07-22-2002 08:13 AM

I agree on the Bridgeview. I was disappointed in it so hadn't bothered to post notes. The Bridgeview Blue Moon is supposed to be a step up I guess, but I didn't see that at the grocery store--just the basic wine.

- wondersofwine - 08-22-2002 03:56 PM

I finally got around to tasting the Villa Mt. Eden Coastal California Pinot Noir (a 2000 vintage). It was 13% alcohol, color: medium red-purple, sort of a Concord grape color, with clarity
Nose: plums and boysenberries
Taste: mouthfilling, plummy, slight tartness of a little cranberry or cherries
Chilled when first taste--let it alone after a few sips and tried again at room temperature--I liked it both ways
It could be an aperitif, especially slightly chilled, or served at room temperature with roasted or grilled chicken, Cornish hen, or maybe duck. It makes a great "every day" Pinot Noir. Thanks,IK for all the times you have touted it.