We publish a newsletter twice a year to discuss Mayacamas happenings and announce new wine releases. Below is the September, 2009 edition. To view our other newsletters, click here.
Vol. II No. 86March, 2010
The cold rain continues, and the mornings remain icy. Yet, there is mustard blooming down below the winery, and we’ve got the pruning done (except for a couple of fig trees): two signs that spring beckons. And, lo, our spring release is here. We trust that warmer weather is right around the corner, and that, sooner than now seems possible, a cool glass of Sauvignon Blanc or a slightly chilled mountain Chardonnay will sound like the right thing.
Our 2007 Chardonnay, hereby released, is more crisp than the 2006. Suggestions of banana, lemon peel, grapefruit overtones, and a bit of cantaloupe ride a firm acidity, with a kind of stoniness underneath. The subtly expressed French oak is, as is usual for us, sounding a note in the back, not blaring in front. The fruit sings the lead. These days, Dad is passionate about eating seafood for dinner, saying it’s good for one’s health. He swears that this 2007 Chardonnay is a fine accompaniment to all manner of sea creatures. He should know. I believe tonight it’s cracked crab and another bottle of the ’07 Chard.
The 2007 Sauvignon Blanc is also now for sale. The fruit comes from a rocky slope that looks into the Sonoma Valley from 2,400 feet, just east of the Napa-Sonoma divide. This wine is a true expression of that place, with flavors reminiscent of limes, honeydew melon, grass, and nutmeg, and wakeful acidity to back it all up. As always, no oak influences this wine.
The Library Chardonnay is the 2004. This is in very fine form at the moment, fully fleshed out and ready to mingle with a good-looking roasted chicken at dinner. The balance is excellent, with golden delicious apples and pears giving way to peaches and macadamia nuts in the mid-palate. The finish is long, and the richness and vibrancy of the wine seduce.
The 2005 Merlot is now for sale. Red cherries, black plums, violets, and roses in the bouquet are followed by black cherries and blackberries on the palate. There is a touch of earth, and bay leaf as well. It is very alive and youthful, with mountain tannins and good acidic balance.
The 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon continues as our current release. It’s packed with aromas of blackberries, red cherries, black cherries, and pine, and the palate offers more red cherries and blackberries, with hints of the forest floor---earth, mushrooms and pine needles. Its tannins are serious, but not cloyingly brooding. It will take well to beef ribs or lamb stew.
The 1997 Cabernet Sauvignon is now our Library selection. This much-ballyhooed vintage may have gained a reputation, in some quarters at least, for being less-than-age-worthy, but we think ours is still getting better, and will continue to do so for a long time. It’s complex---with fresh black stone fruit as well as earth and cedar---well-balanced, and very alive. We suggest that you buy some of it and be the judge and jury yourself.
Dad is a fisherman from way back---when he was young, he and my Uncle Bill used to pull rainbow trout out of the mountain streams and rivers of Idaho, near the place where Hemingway lived his later life and died, around Ketchum. Later, he would take my brothers and me up to those same mountains to teach us angling. We’ve also spent a fair amount of time trolling the Sea of Cortez in Baja California. Dad once told me his favorite novel is The Old Man and the Sea. Now, it seems he’s often in a contemplative mood, eating fish with the Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc in the evenings. He sometimes muses about where we go after this life’s moveable feast. I don’t know that he has any firm conclusions about it. I think he will confirm, though, that I’ve not been shy to tell him what I think, that, even after that final dinner and sunset we all will see, for ourselves, that the sun also rises, and so do we.