early spring start, our mild summer slowed grape ripening a little,
but not much. We began our harvest August 23, nine days later
than last year but still a week or two ahead of "normal",
whatever that is. Continuing cool weather may stretch this year's
vintage out considerably, if it continues.
We are pleased
to announce the availability of our 1997
Cabernet Sauvignon, 1998 Pinot Noir
and the re-release of our 1990 Cabernet
from the beginning, the vintage of 1997 in northern California
was widely acclaimed for its quality, particularly for Cabernet
Sauvignon. In fact, some experts classify it as the best Cabernet
vintage in at least 35 years. Our 1997
Cabernet is composed of 88% Cabernet Sauvignon grapes, plus
2% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc. A touch of raspberry is evident
in the aroma. Already velvety on the tongue, its innate concentrated
complexity is just beginning to reveal itself. These characteristics
will grow as the wine matures. Full development should be attained
in the 2015-2025 time frame. Before then we recommend at least
two hours of aeration prior to drinking, and up to twelve hours
if consumed before 2010.
the 1998 vintage were not highly regarded by some critics early
on. It is now apparent that many of them were just not well understood.
While they are usually developing more slowly than the wines of
the previous year, and the subsequent year, their long term potential
is often very good. Our 1998 Pinot Noir
is 100% varietal and has a cluster of dark fruit aromas punctuated
by hints of plum and cherry. Rich and full now, the flavors show
great promise for the future. Prime consumption time for this
vintage should be from 2005 to 2015, and possibly a few years
Mayacamas Cabernet Sauvignon is still a very dark purple,
indicating freshness and vigor.
of 2% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc and 96% Cabernet Sauvignon grapes,
its ripe fruit nose seems to contain many elements. This diversity
carries over into the mouth, and the wine has a complex, lingering
finish with the Cabernet grape structure clearly dominant. It
is highly enjoyable now and will remain so for at least another
Hotel in Yosemite has held several "Vintners' Holidays"
programs each year for well over twenty years now. I am going
to participate in the November 17-19, 2002 session this year.
It is always a pleasure to visit that beautiful part of the world
and these programs are most enjoyable. Anyone interested in the
details of any of these events can contact the Ahwahnee by phone
at (559) 252-4848 or log on to www.yosemitepark.com on the web.
As we bought
Mayacamas in 1968, this is my 35th year stomping grapes here.
Nonie and I have raised three sons on this mountain vineyard,
the oldest of whom, Matt, is now working here with us as Vice-President
in charge of everything I forget. It's a very big job. His wife,
Ursula, is helping out ( and a great help ) in the winery part
time. Dennis Emslie-Drummond, our Assistant Winemaker for the
last five years, is now my Co-Winemaker and we are much better
off for it. Pat Schoenfeldt has been working in our vineyards,
winery and all over the ranch for 23 years and we are blessed
for her continuing loyalty. Likewise for Gary Chism, our Equipment
Manager, who, for 28 years, has kept our menagerie of vehicles,
equipment and machinery, mostly antique, operating. Raul Lomeli,
head of our vineyard crew, has been with us for 25 years and his
value cannot be over-stated. His good staff of Irene Gonzalez,
Geronimo Madrigal, Genoveva Mariscal, and Jose Manuel Valadez
has to be regularly augmented with temporary people to get our
many field tasks accomplished. We are truly grateful for them
we were harvesting grapes and I went out in the vineyard to talk
again with Raul. His English was quite limited when he first joined
us but he has improved it markedly so we communicate mostly in
English now. I explained the details of what, when, where and
how I wanted the crew to pick next. Then I asked him if he understood
everything. He smiled and said, "Yes, I understand everything."
And then " You know, your English is really getting pretty