The Wines of Mayacamas
Monday October 23, 2017
How do you measure love? By words? Through gifts? For wine geeks, true love happens when you find that bottle that will make you fall in love not just with the wine but with the terroir itself. But how to know if it’s true wine love? Well, if despite undergoing several changes — different owners, management, and key team — and people still long to drink a bottle or two of the winery’s vintage. That is true love.
Such is the case for Mayacamas. This beautiful vineyard is located in Mt. Veeder within Napa Valley, and is known for producing traditional styles of Napa wines as opposed to the recent trends focusing on extravagance, weight, high alcohol content, and power.
Coming from a rich history, this Californian winery is still receiving the same warm welcome and praise as it did many years ago. Even with its strong resistance to fall into modernisation. Mayacamas’ story started when John Henry Fisher, then a German immigrant, built the winery to plant Zinfandel. Following a series of challenges early on, the vineyard was eventually purchased by British chemist Jack Taylor and his wife [bringing in Cabernet and Chardonnay in the list of their wines].
In 1968, Bob and Elinor Travers bought the property and using a strategy to incur as little as much with the costs, Travers was able to develop Mayacamas bit by bit. The vineyards were cleaned, new varieties were planted, additional facilities were brought in, and land extension was also done.
There is where one can say the core characteristics of Mayacamas were formed: using methodical, traditional approach in growing and harvesting grape; including making improvements for the winery. One might of these as disadvantages, but in reality these are some of the reasons that made this brand loved by oenologists all over the world.
What is produced from this age-old way is truly remarkable. The characteristics are described as with acidity, tannic, and tight. Eventually, a few years’ worth of waiting before opening a Mayacamas bottle transforms it into a wine with enhanced flavours and texture.
Then, Charles Banks bought the winery from the Travers after they retired. It was at this time that some modernization in terms of standard equipment were introduced. Currently owned by Schottenstein family, the winery still stands resilient amidst all challenges. As one of the least modernised vineyard in the region, Jimmy Hayes, Estate Director of Mayacamas explained in one of his interviews, “We’ll continue with our classic style of wine, … The Old World charm found here since 1889 is something we all love dearly, and our singular inspiration as we plan for the future”.
Mayacamas Wine Dinner
Want to try out one of Mayacamas stellar wines? We have an upcoming Mayacamas Wine Dinner [BUY NOW] together with Jimmy Hayes on November 1, 2017 at Mr Wolf restaurant. For tickets and other details, more details on this page [BUY NOW].
Well, if one cannot simply wait for the event, might as well get one bottle right away! Here are some of our recommendations for you:
Fresh and vibrant in its youth, 2010 Mayacamas Cabernet surely has a long life ahead. Red raspberry tart, bing cherry, black olive, thyme make for a substantially complex palate. The firm, structured tannins make for a classic profile, and suggest a particularly age-able wine.
The 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon is shaping up to be a real beauty. Pliant and nuanced, the 2012 caresses the palate with a total sense of silkiness. Bright red cherries, mint, spices and flowers are all laced together in a supple, radiant Cabernet Sauvignon that captures the essence of the vintage. The purity of the fruit here is simply striking, but the 2012 is not a powerhouse, rather it is a wine built on finesse. Rose petals, mint, sage and a hint of white pepper add an element of exoticism on the high-toned, expressive finish. (AG)
The 2014 Chardonnay is brilliant. Lemon oil, white flowers, mint, almonds and smoke are all beautifully delineated in this transparent, super-finessed Chardonnay built on total finesse. The decision to pick a touch earlier plus the blocked malo style result in a focused, energetic Chardonnay that hits all the right notes. (AG)
Offers a zesty, refreshing, Sauvignon-like vibrancy, with a grassy edge to the tangy peach and nectarine flavours imparting a cleansing aftertaste. Drink now. 400 cases made.