Wine Reviews: Eden Rift

Mother’s Day is tomorrow and Father’s Day isn’t far away. And if you’re taking any time to celebrate for yourself, your partner, or a family member, a delightful California Chardonnay or Pinot Noir is an excellent choice.

Long-time readers may have seen Eden Rift here before, and I’m back this week to share some stoke for their releases. The first time I tasted wines from this Cienega Valley, California producer, I knew there was something special. The crisp, unique expression of Chardonnay and Pinot had me instantly hooked. The property (located 20 miles from Monterey Bay) has a winemaking history that dates back to the 1800s, but this project kicked off in 2016, and the wines are made by Cory Waller. The terraces, limestone soils, unique terroir, it leads to nuanced Pinot and Chard. And the 2019 vintage speaks in a clear voice, offering wine-lovers both immediate pleasure and serious cellar potential.

Each wine showed so well, I found myself searching for faults, things to nit-pick – things I would “change,” the way a fan might critique’s a new album from a band they love. But, there’s nothing. The wines speak for themselves, and the price points are very reasonable for the quality. Hats off to Eden Rift for their distinctive style and consistency. With wines this good, and a beautiful nearby coastline, it’s a region I need to visit and explore.

These wines were received as trade samples and tasted sighted.

2019 Eden Rift Chardonnay Estate USA, California, Central Coast, Cienega Valley
SRP: $42
Medium yellow color. A gorgeous, deep, but vibrant aromatic display of lemon curd and orange peel, along with almond, ginger, corn husk, with salty, talc, and mineral vibes. The palate shows beautiful complexity and balance, a creamy but bright acid sort of Chardonnay, with flavors of lemons, nectarine, and pineapple. There’s a lot of chalky, limestone, mountain stream notes and an overall racy appeal, contrasted with a richness and flavors of almond and bread crumbs. Balanced and pristine Chard with the stuffing to age well, too. (93 points IJB)

2019 Eden Rift Chardonnay Terraces USA, California, Central Coast, Cienega Valley
SRP: $64
Rich yellow color. The nose shows a wonderful mix of lighter tones (chalk dust, white flowers, dandelion, talc) with deeper tones of honey, apricot, orange marmalade, some almond skin. The palate is so precise and focused, racy with a deep texture on a medium-bodied frame. Flavors of limes, orange peel, green apple, the fruit  is laced with chalky, flinty, pure mineral essences with some saline-infused goodness. Deep texture and rich tones of marmalade, almond, and honey. Focused, pretty, precise throughout – wow. (94 points IJB)

2019 Eden Rift Pinot Noir Estate USA, California, Central Coast, Cienega Valley
SRP: $48
Vibrant ruby color. Aromas gush with red cherries and wild raspberries, with an airy, breezy mix of rose petals, spiced floral tea, green herbs, some tobacco – a beautiful mix that you just keep wanting to swirl and sniff and parse through. The palate has a smooth base layer of tannins and fresh acidity, setting the stage for the deep cherry and tangy wild raspberry fruit. The non-fruit complexities accentuate the fruit well (floral potpourri, tobacco, sage, earth, clove), and there’s a deep but effortless mouthfeel. Needs a few years to coax out the best of it yet, but a delightful Pinot and a great example of this producer’s interpretation of the grape. (93 points IJB)

2019 Eden Rift Pinot Noir Palmtag Block USA, California, Central Coast, Cienega Valley
SRP: $78
Medium ruby color. The nose is bright and exotic, with gorgeous raspberries and red plums, fruity and delish but cool and spicy too, with mint, paprika, white pepper, dried rose petals, some rhubarb and dusty red clay – amazing. The palate shows suave, smooth tannins on a medium-bodied frame with crisp acidity and a racy, silky balance throughout. Tangy red cherries and…

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Wine Reviews: Eden Rift  
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