Mayacamas sits high up on Mount Veeder within an extinct volcanic crater. Originally planted in 1889 by German immigrants, the estate endured through prohibition and multiple changes in ownership and direction, until 1968 when Robert Travers bought the property and re-christened it Mayacamas Vineyards.
Over the past four decades (and more recently with the help of his son, Chris), Travers has ignored all changes in popular trends and is still making the classic style wines for which Mayacamas is known.
Many of their vines were planted in the early 1950’s and 1960’s, and some newer blocks were added in the 1980’s. Comprised of volcanic soil, the vineyards are dry-farmed and typically produce low yields, around 1.5 tons per acre. The vines are situated from 1800 to 2400 feet above sea level and many of the slopes are so steep that they require terracing. Although they had purchased some fruit in the past, Mayacamas now uses exclusively estate grown fruit.
Following harvest, all the wines are initially fermented in open top, epoxy lined cement tanks before moving into old 600-1200 gallon American oak vats for six months to as long as two years, depending on the wine. They see little new oak and the alcohol levels are kept moderate, resulting in incredibly age-worthy wines.
This is simply a legendary producer and, luckily for us, they aren’t interested in messing with a good thing.
“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.”
– Matt Kramer
“Mayacamas Vineyards is legendary…its 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.”
– James Laube
A mélange of newly mowed center field and freshly cut lime rind on the nose. Tangy, juicy grapefruit and lemon notes on the palate. Racy acidity makes it so taut and linear as to be nearly aerodynamic. This wine will improve for several more years.
Two Weeks at 58
Time in Wood
Now - 2016