2019 Mayacamas Vineyards, Mount Veeder - Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
2019 Mayacamas Vineyards, Mount Veeder - Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

2019 Mayacamas Vineyards, Mount Veeder - Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

California, United States 2019 (750mL)
Regular price$185.00

2019 Mayacamas Vineyards, Mount Veeder - Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

There are a tiny handful of wineries that have had an outsized impact on Napa Valley viticulture, and, by proxy, California winemaking writ large. Mondavi, Beaulieu Vineyards, and Heitz are all on that short list, but the estate that can trace its roots back to the earliest days of the wine industry here is without a doubt Mayacamas. This iconic property has been instrumental in pushing Napa to the top of global wine destinations, but just as importantly, they continue to lead the way in innovation and quality. From their perch high in the Mountains for which they are named, they have an eagle eye on both the past and the future of the valley below. Oh, and they continue to make among the most profound, complex, and age-worthy Cabernet in California, and arguably the world. Their current release, the gloriously balanced 2019, is a soaring testament to the deliciously complex wines that Mayacamas continues to produce. This is blue-chip Napa, with impeccable pedigree, and though it isn’t cheap, we can offer one of the best prices in the U.S. Wine lovers, you need a few bottles in your cellar!

The world-class Mayacamas winery was originally established in 1889 by John Henry Fisher, a San Francisco businessman, who used the local stone to build the cellar that is still in use today. After the 1906 earthquake, he was forced to declare bankruptcy and the property was sold for a mere $5,000 (in today’s dollars that might get you a down payment on a small condo in Napa). WWI and then Prohibition saw the vines and the winery essentially sit idle until 1941, when Jack and Mary Taylor purchased the property. They were the first in a series of innovative owners, and along with improvements to the cellar, their most impactful contribution was replanting the old vineyards (mostly Zinfandel and some other blending grapes) to Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon. That may seem like an obvious move, looking 80 years in the rear view mirror, but at the time Cabernet was a true anomaly in Napa…go figure!

In 1968 the Taylors sold the property to Bob and Eleanor Travers, and the “modern” era began. Fresh from his work with another blossoming Napa legend, Heitz, Bob was instrumental in adding additional barrels, of various sizes, to the cellar and instituting traditional, European winemaking techniques. His talents, along with the inherent qualities of the distinct Mayacamas terroir, were recognized almost immediately, with his 1971 vintage being chosen as one of the wines to represent California in the famous Judgment of Paris. Vintage after vintage of Mayacamas was released to widespread acclaim, and even as Napa grew into the global wine powerhouse that it is today–and as styles and trends continue to come and go—Bob continued to make the same beautifully complex and long-lived wines.

A little over a decade ago, Bob and Eleanor decided it was time to retire, so they sold their iconic estate to the Schottenstein Family. Recognizing the long, storied history of the property and the decades-long love affair many customers have had with the wines of Mayacamas, the family and their team sought to improve the health and well being of the vines and the cellar without sacrificing the old-school complexity of the wines. Farming was converted to fully organic beginning in 2013, and today many biodynamic practices are used. Some of Bob’s famous old barrels did need replacing, but by and large the cellar got just some basic maintenance and cleaning and the core of the aging program—French oak casks, mostly neutral, and of various sizes—remains fully intact.

The 2019 vintage was fantastic in Napa generally, and particularly lovely for the vines growing high up on the Mayacamas Mountains. It was typically warm and sunny, but with less heat spikes and less drought pressure than the previous several years. The result is a classic Mayacamas rendition of Cabernet: Rich and powerfully framed, but with exceptional balance and elegance, and savory, earthy notes that play perfectly with the exuberant black and red fruits. This is a wine that will age gracefully for decades, but it can also be enjoyed now with a good 60-90 minute decant. Serve at cellar temperature in a large Bordeaux stem, and the deep, garnet hue will open with a flourish of wild blueberries and raspberries, sagebrush, mint, lilacs, blood orange zest, cedarwood, and hints of graphite and iodine. It’s perfect for anything you want to grill, but with a wine of this caliber it’s best not to overthink it: get the best, grass fed ribeye you can find and serve with crispy some rosemary potatoes. If you want to have a legendary Napa wine from an exceptional vintage in your cellar, Mayacamas is 100% the way to go!

2019 Mayacamas Vineyards, Mount Veeder - Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

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