We Taste Test Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's $40 Royal Wedding Pinot Noir
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex poured Domaine Eden Pinot Noir from Mount Eden Vineyards for guests of the royal wedding this spring. We tasted the wine from California—here's our verdict.
It's been nearly a month since Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's royal wedding in Windsor and still details about the nuptials are only starting to trickle out. Just this week, representatives from Mount Eden Vineyards were able to confirm that their Domaine Eden Pinot Noir was served at the royal wedding reception—no surprise, considering Markle herself is a born-and-bred California girl and a self-professed lover of red wine. In fact, a well-placed source tells Food & Wine that the now-Duchess of Sussex loves the Domaine Eden Pinot Noir 2014 so much, she ordered nine cases for the royal celebration.
"We're absolutely delighted that our wine was selected for the royal wedding," says Mount Eden Vineyards co-owner and CEO Ellie Patterson. "After all, the Santa Cruz Mountains American Viticultural Area is the birthplace of pinot noir in California, and our Domaine Eden Pinot Noir has balance and transparency that reflects the caliber of wines our region has to offer."
As soon as we found out that this was the American wine of choice poured at Harry and Meghan's royal wedding, we knew we had to taste the vintage ourselves.
"Domaine Eden is the second label from a winery called Mount Eden, which is actually one of the great pinot noir producers in California," says Food & Wine Executive Wine Editor Ray Isle. "So, Meghan, odds are you have really great taste."
"That's pinot noir, that's what it smells like," Isle says after taking a whiff of the 2014. "That beautiful kind of raspberry scent—crisp, light, lot of flavor, though. Little bit of spice, got a little pepper-iness on the end. There's a little bit of tea leaf character—very appropriate, English! Tea leaves! That's actually a lovely bottle of pinot noir."
As for the 2015, which may be more readily available once news gets out about Meghan and Harry's wine selection.
"This is terrific, too. I might like the 2015 a little better than the 2014," Isle says. "They're both lovely wines—2014 has just a touch more age, as it's a year older, you get a little more of that tea leaf character. 2015 has beautiful brightness—it's very fresh, raspberry, you get that crunch of the raspberry, when the skin is really taut. That's a lovely wine."
Want to get your hands on Meghan Markle's wedding pinot noir? Better act fast. Only 1,680 cases of the 2014 vintage were released and there's currently a three bottle limit on purchases of the $40 wine; if you're looking for something a bit brighter, consider the 2015—the winery just released 1,046 cases and they're sure to go fast (purchase limit per customer is currently six bottles).