The vines for the Reserve program are the same as the ones producing Mount Eden’s Estate Bottled Chardonnay.
The difference in making the Reserve Chardonnay and the Estate Chardonnay lies solely in a curious practice sometimes used in the making of renowned white Burgundies.
Chardonnay that has been aged for ten months in barrel is then put it into a stainless steel tank with all the gross lees where it remains for an additional ten months. During that time, all of the sediments (mainly yeast lees) are magically absorbed into the wine, similar to the process of making Champagne. The Reserve Chardonnay is composed of eleven barrels of Estate Chardonnay that completes this process.
In the glass the difference is subtle but noticeable between the Estate and the Reserve. The Reserve has more earth, mineral notes, and texture coming from the lee influence. The Estate has more bright fruit. Aging potential is still unknown since the Reserve has only been made since 2007 but so far it seems to be aging more slowly than the Estate bottling.