Press Coverage :
"Mayacamas Vineyards is among the classic wineries that have made California wines among the world's finest. The original stone winery is a Napa classic. The Mayacamas wines remain extraordinary...they offer a freshness almost unparalleled in Napa, along with an intensity of tannin that can invigorate fans of the valley's classic wines...what's clear about the Mayacamas wines is their durability---the legendary 1974 is still young...-not just Cabernet, but Merlot (one of Napa's treasures) and the vibrant Chardonnay. Recently I tried Chardonnays from the early 1990's, which were holding up far better than many Burgundies from the era."
The San Francisco Chronicle
Reviewing in 2013
"A great wine...very dense and tannic. The fruit is dark and dry but still fresh, not heavy."
The World of Fine Wine (London),
on the 2006 Mayacamas Cabernet Sauvignon
"Today is a day I will remember for the rest of my wine career, the day the 2007 Mayacamas Cabernet Sauvignon was released...this is one of the greatest Cabernets from this winery in recent memory. I was thrilled to taste this...Mayacamas is a legend in Napa Valley winemaking...distinctive and powerful and unique...the nose made me want to cry, it is so utterly pure and clearly, unmistakably Napa Cabernet...it is brooding, in the sense you know there is a mass of stuff in there...so deep, so concentrated...it's mysterious...this is serious, intense, cerebral stuff, but it is not particularly chewy or rough...it is rather a beautifully concentrated yet medium-bodied, balanced and uber-complex mountain wine."
of BP Wine and The St. Helena Star
on the 2007 Mayacamas Cabernet Sauvignon
"Tremendous wine. Big, smooth, and enjoyable, with a slippery aloe texture. Warm red fruit and warm red earth."
The World of Fine Wine (London)
on the 1999 Mayacamas Cabernet Sauvignon
"Really, you can't do better than Mayacamas Vineyards for California wine profoundness...the source of some of Napa Valley's most significant wines, both red and white...Mayacamas Vineyards makes some of California's greatest Cabernets, period...original, dramatically fine Chardonnay like almost no other in California---or anywhere else for that matter...it's one of America's greatest Chardonnays, bar none...Mayacamas Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc's high-elevation, low-yield stoniness and diamond-sharp delineation is virtually unrivalled in California."
of The Wine Spectator
"Mayacamas Vineyards is legendary...it's reputation for producing amazingly complex, long-lived wines is well-deserved...Mayacamas Cabernets are deeply colored, enormously rich and concentrated wines...these wines live up to their billing. The rewards of cellaring can be awesome. Mayacamas Cabernets are as rich, complex, and structured as any produced in California."
of The Wine Spectator
"This is, simply put, one of the greatest California wines ever made. Still vibrant and youthful, it is highly aromatic: black tea and plum. Full-bodied, luscious, and accessible, yet quite complex. Long, stony finish. Iconic.
The World of Fine Wine (London)
on the 1975 Mayacamas Cabernet Sauvignon
"Mayacamas Vineyards is one of the greatest Cabernet Sauvignon producers in the history of California. For those who long for great red wines that cellar with conviction and evolve in the course of time into brilliantly complex and compelling wines, Mayacamas Vineyards remains one of the brightest stars in the constellation of California wine. It is arguably the last man standing from the glory days of California's past. Mayacamas Vineyards' Cabernet, often called the Chateau Latour of California, certainly displays great similarity to Chateau Latour. Mayacamas Vineyards Cabernet at its peak often delivers an aromatic and flavor profile that (also) shares many elements with La Mission Haut Brion or other top Graves properties, coupled with a deep core of sweet black cherry fruit that could only hail from California. In short, if California had first growths, Mayacamas would unequivocally be one."
View from the Cellar
" It is the exceptional quality of this ensemble, year in and year out, that has compelled me to place Mayacamas Vineyards in a unique category of greatness I have not heretofore accorded any other American winery. Thoroughly French in style straight cross the board, big, complex, assertive, yet always impeccably balanced, opulently fruity, delicious, and wonderfully rewarding on the palate, these in my view are flawless creations. The Mayacamas Vineyards Chardonnays are stupendous---high in acidity, with mouth-filling, vanilla-tinged, pear-and-lemon-like fruit components...stylistically akin to a first-class Chevalier Montrachet, ample in scale, with delectable vanilla and melon taste components-absolutely superb. A vintage-by-vintage comparison between Chateau Latour and the Mayacamas Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon discloses that in every case the Napa Valley entry will substantially outlive the magnificent Paulliac. To put it simply, no Bordeaux or American Cabernet Sauvignon made since the 1960s, other than Chateau Latour from time to time, can approach within fifteen years of the potential longevity of all but one (1972) of the Mayacamas Vineyards examples. I regard it as a rare privilege to be able to be able to savor the wondrous beauty of these Mayacamas Vineyards reds."
Wine and Spirits
"Mayacamas Vineyards, in the estimation of most knowledgeable critics, is on par with the great growths of Bordeaux ...combine the effects of elevation, temperature and soils and you have the raw material for wines of richness, intensity, and longevity."
---Patrick W. Fegan
The Chicago Tribune
"It restores the will to live"..."Elegance, finesse, allied to concentration. Balanced and sleek, slightly tarry fruit, moreish and good acidity. Lovely. The balance is like being released from prison: a sense of lightness."
The World of Fine Wine (London)
on the Mayacamas Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignons of 1992 and 1999, respectively
"By themselves, these tasting notes are equivalent to reading the score of Beethoven's 9th. For full effect, get the wine, pull the cork, serve dinner, and put on the CD."
on the 1997 Mayacamas Vineyards Chardonnay
"This is very special, one of the classic wines of Americana, the 1974 Mayacamas Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon. This is one of the classic, all-time great Cabernets. I'm just, to be honest with you, humbled to be able to have the opportunity to taste this wine. Look at the color on this wine, it's like a baby, you would think it was a wine that was made this year. Really, really, really substantial, great color on this wine. Very earthy, definitely a little minted, kind of a eucalyptus component coming through on the nose. A little bit of pepper, venison, very gamey on the nose as well. Bordeaux-like, a little older...blackberries: clearly in this wine, it should not be denied. Now, this wine brings serious, serious thunder. This wine is classic, great length, total beef jerky on the mid-palate, transition to the back end, great, great bottle of Cabernet, truly. Can we kill the debate that California can't last? That's laughable, just ridiculous when you taste a wine like this, it really tells me it's got another 10-15 years in it. Great structure, great black currant, gorgeous length, everything you would look for in an all-time great Bordeaux. I think this is spectacular stuff. I think it out-performs the La Mission Haut Brion (1988). I think it's just spectacular, world-class wine."
Wine Library TV
On the 1974 Mayacamas Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon
Reviewed in 2009
"Unquestionably one of the greatest wines of its type ever created in the New World."
Wally's (Los Angeles),
on the 1997 Mayacamas Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc
"I can tell you with certainty that many of the most famous scribes in the wine world head to Mayacamas first as a customer. The vines at Mayacamas have endured---grown older and wiser along with a pedigree that's always prized terroir first. The 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon carries on the storied tradition of this estate and is built in much the same way as their 1971. It warms the heart with a true sense of soul. Crammed with compact layers of twigs, spice, dried evergreen, crushed red fruit and sumptuous mountain acidity and tannins, this wine will age for at least 2-3 decades. It will always be a slice of spring, summer and autumn pressed into an old-school bottle of grand cru-level wine. Mayacamas Cabernet is a cerebral endeavor built for your children's pleasure in the decades ahead. Maybe the idea of Mayacamas is to bring families closer together, a wine for the three of you---mother, father, and child, many years from now, as you sit together to savor a special moment, reminiscing about what once was and what is still to be."
"A remarkable wine! It has developed a complexity that's hard to describe...it is so lovely and so rich and so complex..."
KCBS radio,on the Mayacamas Vineyards Chardonnay 2000
"The truest winemaking in California."
The Wine Country (Los Angeles)
on the Mayacamas Vineyards 2001 Cabernet Sauvignon
"Thankfully, high-end producers such as Stony Hill, Hanzell, Mount Eden, Mayacamas and Chateau Montelena have stayed their original courses, producing flinty, lemony, structured Chardonnays that have palate-cleansing acidity and the capacity to improve in the cellar. When placed on the dinner table, they dazzle with their balance, backbone and minerality."
"Mayacamas' dense, firm-boned style is worth extra attention. Aromas of dried herbs, black tea, bright plum and raspberry highlight the gorgeous, chewy fruit. Their wines are typically built for the ages; for Merlot, that's a worthwhile---and rare---cause."
San Francisco Chronicle Magazine
on the Mayacamas Vineyards 2006 Merlot
"I've always loved (Mayacamas') Chardonnays, and the 2007 is quite simply stunning. It is rare to find a Chardonnay of such quality at this price...it's had enough time in the bottle to evolve into a thrilling expression of the varietal---complex, scented with lemon, ripe and full in the mouth while still retaining a lilting acidity. This is a Chardonnay made for food, light on the oak and suffused with a bracing minerality."
---S. Irene Virbila
Los Angeles Times
"It happened. It was a 1978 Mayacamas Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, and after just one sip, the world looked different: more nuanced, more beautiful, more alive. I was forcefully reminded in a thunderclap instant---what the French call a 'coup de foudre'---why we bother with wine. It's what those of us who cellar wine are really looking for. This wine was so moving. It had that holy grail quality of terroir that I'm forever seeking. But it was more than terroir in this instance. The key element, the electrifying ingredient, came from transformation...great wines, by definition, require transformation...my greatest wish? That we are all privileged to drink, preferably more than a few times, wines that have fully transformed. When wines transform, so, in some fashion, do we---if only for a blissful, transporting moment."
The Wine Spectator