Abundant early and mid-winter rains have given way to a rapid
starting, warm spring here. We could begin harvest very close
to last year's record early date of August 14. In the meantime,
groundwater moisture levels are excellent.
We are pleased to announce the availabilty of our 1999
Chardonnay, 2000 Sauvignon Blanc,
and 1997 Merlot.
Chardonnay wines, particularly those made in the New World, have
received considerable criticism in recent times. And, unfortunately,
much of that criticism has been well founded. Even good winemakers
have realized that, for many of them, it doesn't really matter
much where, or how, the grapes are grown. Winery processes and
techniques dominate many Chardonnays to such a degree that their
origin is obscured. Quicker aging and a more bombastic initial
impression are two of the main reasons for this approach. We have
resisted those temptations and opted for a more traditional, slower
developing style. Thus this release of our 1999 is one of the
last Chardonnays of that vintage in the world to become available.
And it will improve for several more years. As it does mature,
this style becomes our favorite, primarily due to what we perceive
as its optimum compatibility with food. The philosophy here can
be summarized as simply letting the vineyard do the talking, and
keeping the winemaking as quiet as possible.
Our 2000 Sauvignon Blanc is
also made in a tart, food friendly style. Only a small fraction
received barrel aging so the steely, clear-voiced character of
the grape tells its story. We recommend drinking it now through
The 1997 Mayacamas Merlot
is just under 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, about average for our Merlots.
Backbone, complexity and longevity are enhanced by this blending.
It is always beneficial to give our red wines a little breathing
time if they are consumed when young. We suggest at least an hour
or two for this Merlot until it is about 10 years old.
Our Chardonnay from 1996
is now being re-released. It is in its prime now and should hold
for several more years at or near its peak if well cared for.
Always a favorite around here, its smooth texture, still rich
fruit and lingering finish reveal the essence of our objective
We are proud to announce that we have a "new" labeler.
Well, it's new to us anyway. Let's just say it's "experienced."
Thus the glue smears, crooked labels and fingerprints that you
are used to seeing on Mayacamas wine bottles may (should) soon
be a thing of the past. However, since we age wines in the bottle
for a year or more before release none of our new labelings will
be available until next year. As the old, hand labeled, bottles
will no doubt become prized collectors items our current offerings
represent a great opportunity. Stock up now and wait for the auction
bidding to begin.
Much is being made these days of cooking with wine, food and wine
matchings and pairings, etc. While occasionally esoteric in the
extreme, it seems most of this attention is all to the good. We
encourage it and even spend quite a bit of time cooking with wine
ourselves. And, sometimes, we even put a little of the wine in