This last winter was quite dry in our area but not a disastrous drought. It was also unusually cold, except for the usual mild flashes. Budbreak was at an average time for recent years so harvest should start in mid-August or soon thereafter. Cluster counts are quite healthy so crop sizes could be good if the weatherman is kind. We also need his help from here to then for good quality.
The 2004 Mayacamas Chardonnay, 2005 Sauvignon Blanc and 2002 Merlot are now being released and our 2001 Chardonnay is being re-released. Also, please note that we are sold out of regular bottles (750 ml) of our 2001 Cabernet Sauvignon but are making some of the 1999 Cabernet Sauvignon available now.
Vintage 2004 yielded many highly regarded Chardonnays in northern California. The Mayacamas version has a bit of fresh lemongrass character in the nose and our usual light hint of oak. Those facets are complimented by a tart, steely structure in the mouth, followed by faint pineapple nuances. While highly enjoyable now it will, as usual for us, develop additional richness, viscosity and smoothness for several more years. I expect the peak for my taste will be in the 2010-2015 timeframe.
Our Sauvignon Blanc wines always have an unusually large persona for this varietal but the 2005 vintage is particularly robust. Grass, gravel, and a little apricot suggestion in the nose combine with a pear-like character in the mouth and linger into the finish. Drink now through about 2012.
The Mayacamas 2002 Merlot has a delightful floral nose revealing true fruit of the vine. Even and balanced flavors follow that line of thought. Rich and full of life, it makes you want more. In spite of its current appeal, it will gain stature for eight or ten more years.
The return of our 2001 Chardonnay brings smiles to our faces. It has aged as well as we expected and is in its prime. This peak should last for at least two or three more years, assuming good storage. Enjoy it by itself or with almost any lighter fare and many stronger dishes as well.
All the political consternation in the world these days reminds me of a time when Winston Churchill was in Parliament, before he became Prime Minister. An opposition party member came up to him after a heated debate and said, “Mr. Churchill, if you were my husband, I’d put poison in your wine,” to which Winston replied, “madam, if you were my wife, I’d drink it.” I say forget the poison and drink good wine WITH your opponents, and I’ll bet lots of times you’ll become friends.