We publish a newsletter twice a year to discuss Mayacamas happenings and announce new wine releases. Below is the September, 2010 edition. To view our other newsletters, click here.
Vol. II No. 87September, 2010
I was trying to convince my wife, whom I talked into leaving her native Nepal to live with me in the trailer on the Mayacamas property, that the garden was going to be worth the effort. This was after the rain finally stopped this year, in June. I spent evenings roto-tilling the patch of land off the front porch and chucking rocks over the fence to prepare the ground, usually wielding a beer, while trying to convince her that this garden was going to be ekdam ramro, very beautiful. Kamala was cool to the idea, kind of like the whole summer turned out to be cool. And with the low temps, the grapes have ripened so slowly that here we stand, still a good distance from harvesting anything, with the new releases already coming out.
Our 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon is now for sale. It's deep and serious, almost brooding, with blackberry, cherry, dried currants, and chocolate on the nose. The attack on the palate is lively, with good acidity contrasting the darkish richness of the wine. Dark ripe cherries, currants, and cranberry notes in the mid-palate finish long, with well-balanced tannins throughout. It's an unusually forward Mayacamas Cabernet.
The 2006 Merlot is a beauty of the old school. Medium bodied, its red cherries and a touch of star anise on the nose give way to vibrant plum, mulberry, and raspberry on the palate. Proof that American viticulture can do this grape right, this wine gave the movie Sideways, or at least its famous dig at the Merlot grape, two thumbs down. Actually the movie wasn't bad, overall, but this wine gets two thumbs up from us.
The Library Cabernet is the vaunted 1997, with all its reputation intact, and more, after high expectations and time on the market. This is no over-ripe Napa '97. It's certainly not falling apart. It's old Pauillac-like structure with Mount Veeder fruit has gained an enthusiastic audience, but we still have a little left.
Our Library Merlot is the 2001, one of our favorite Merlots that we've made. It all comes together here, and it is reaching the beginning of its prime years, although it has many years left. It's great now, and it will be great later.
The Sauvignon Blanc release is the 2007, a relatively rich , almost unctuous SB, for us. Honeydew melon, lime, and nutmeg aromas and flavors define this forward wine. The acidity is moderate. Quite tasty now, it's one of the rare Mayacamas wines to be drunk sooner rather than later.
The 2007 Chardonnay has evolved in the last 6 months into something even better than it was at release, with more richness in the mid-palate. If you let this one breathe for a few hours, or decant it, this wine reveals itself to be a great one. The familiar banana, lemon peel, grapefruit, and cantaloupe have gained more character since last spring.
Finally, the Library Chardonnay is now the millennial 2000. Many have said they find this wine addictive. We are sorry for that, in a way, but actually we're in the same boat, and addicts love company. This wine has an extraordinary combination of richness, depth, finesse, minerality, pure varietal Chardonnay character, and still-fresh acidity. We only mean well with this hard-to-put-down wine, please be convinced of this.
Which brings us back to when I was trying to convince my wife that, seriously, once the flowers were in, our little garden-trailer would take on a new life. It took a while, but we finally achieved, it seems, a critical mass of blossoms. We also set up a fountain in the middle of the garden. It's coming to fruition just in time. I guess Edward was right, in King Lear, when he said "Ripeness is all". I can't remember if Edward lived in a trailer, but right now it would be sweet if we could just get the vineyards to listen to him.