We publish a newsletter twice a year to discuss Mayacamas happenings and announce new wine releases. Below is the June, 2009 edition. To view our other newsletters, click here.
Vol. II No. 84June, 2009
Spring has finally arrived on Mount Veeder, and the weeds are proving it. Vegetative exuberance is not lacking at Mayacamas Vineyards at the moment; maybe that’s because, this year, spring is almost summer. We had some unseasonably late rains and cold weather, but now that is over, and things are getting warm fast. The fig trees are abundant with leaves and early fruit, and the cherries are ripe. Bloom has just begun in the Chardonnay, and the rest won’t be far behind. To leave the soil better rooted in the mountainside, we mow the weeds between rows, rather than disc like we used to do, so that is the main labor of the moment.
Besides the weeds, some other things - hopefully more useful – are emerging at Mayacamas. We are rolling out a new web site, which should be more informative, user-friendly, and comprehensive than the antique one we’ve had until now; it also features online shopping. The new version can be found at the same address, www.mayacamas.com.
We are also now introducing the new Mayacamas Wine Club. Members of the wine club will have access to older wines that are otherwise unavailable, starting with the 1997 Cabernet Sauvignon. If you’re interested, please see the enclosed form for all the details.
The current release Chardonnay continues to be the 2006, which is more open and forward at this stage than most of our Chardonnays. It shows great depth and richness, with lemon curd, banana, and nutmeg on the nose and lemon and honeydew on the palate. It won’t age forever, but it already drinks beautifully, so the time to drink it is now and over the next five years.
The Library Chardonnay is the 2003 vintage. This is one of our favorite vintages in memory for Chardonnay. An extraordinary expression of the fruit occurred in the vineyard. It is now starting to enter the prime of its life. The balance is perfect at this point, and its structure and purity continue to impress us more as time goes on. It will continue to improve for two or three more years. This wine is the real deal. Try just slightly chilled, with a rich piece of grilled fish.
The Library Merlot is now the 1999. It shows fresh blackberry and mint on the nose, and dark cherry and dust on the tongue. It is complex and well-balanced now, and will continue to improve for five to ten more years.
The current Cabernet Sauvignon is the 2003. Its tannins have grip, but they are well integrated. It acidity is certain. This structure houses generous red and black cherry notes, blackberry, black tea leaf, cedar, and brambles, all of which characterize Cabernet Sauvignon on Mount Veeder in general, and Mayacamas Cabernet Sauvignon in particular.
The Library Cabernet Sauvignon is the 1996. It is rich, deep, and brimming with fresh black cherry fruit and plenty of acidity. At 12 ½ percent alcohol it is elegant, with a concentration of blackberry pie on the nose, along with the aforementioned black cherry, currant, forest floor, and just a bit of spice in the mouth. The finish is very long.
When spring comes on with full force like this, you know the summer is near. The guaranteed turning of the seasons is comforting in what are, we can all agree, uncertain times. The economy seems to have had, as Chesterson said in another context, “outbreaks of wrath, like storms above our atmosphere, (that) do not break out exactly where we should expect them, but follow some higher weather chart of their own.” We also find considerable solace in the bottle and its rewards. Wine has a way of putting everything in a different perspective. There is an upside. When the economy hits bottom, our thinking is the same as when it’s going swimmingly: Bottoms up.