"Released for the first time in Spring 2021. A mellow but developed nose of blackberry, bramble, anise and cedar. The palate is round and succulent, with an impressively juicy, thirst-quenching quality and flavours of black currant, charcoal, allspice and caramel. A beautiful expression from a producer that was stylistically well-suited for the conditions of 2011.”—Matt Luczy
High on the slopes of Mount Veeder, Mayacamas Vineyards has been a source of legendary California wine since 1889. Since the 1950’s the vinification and élevage of Mayacamas remains remarkably consistent and our continued commitment to employ classical techniques and tools is integral to the character of these wines. The mountain terroir at Mayacamas ranges from 1,800 to 2,400 feet in elevation and the estate spans 475 acres, only 50 of which are dedicated to vine.
100% Cabernet Sauvignon • Mt. Veeder AVA • 20-30 yr old vines • 2000ft elevation • Volcanic and ancient marine soils • Last vintage Bob Travers made the wine before he passed away • Fermentation in cement vats and stainless- steel tanks • Aged in neutral oak–large format foudres and then barrique • 12.8% ABV
2011 Vintage: 2011 was a notably cool and rainy growing season from start to finish with five inches of rain in May and June during flowering, leaving lower yields and delaying harvest by a few weeks. With good drainage on Mount Veeder and an Indian summer in October, the Cabernet Sauvignon was harvested with great ripeness and lower sugar levels. The long cool season led to a wine of beautiful color, acid and extended age-ability for which Mayacamas wines are known.
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At the crest of Mount Veeder, a sinuous appellation that clings to the Mayacamas Mountains' southern reaches, rests Mayacamas Vineyards – as it has for over a century. Here, at 2,400 feet, above the din of Napa's valley floor, fifty acres of vines quietly speak to both an unshakeable past and a fortitude for the future. Their fruit find its voice in a stone cellar built in 1889, and, when bottled, it shares with us a story of humility and commitment – unadorned, with concentration, elegance, and balance.
Initially built in 1889 by JH Fisher, a German immigrant and pickle merchant in San Francisco, the winery was largely abandoned from the time of the 1906 earthquake until 1941. Guests of the Lokoya Lodge on Mount Veeder, Jack Taylor, a chemist for Shell, and his wife, Mary, purchased the property – the winery and its 260 acres – and with their three children founded Mayacamas. They began by planting the property to Chardonnay, using budwood purchased from the Wente Livermore Valley Vineyard – just like their northerly neighbors, the McCreas of Stony Hill. Cabernet Sauvignon plantings followed, and Mayacamas was bonded (#4417) in 1947.
Next came Robert Travers, under whose stewardship Mayacamas found the voice it shares in present day. The son of a farming family, Travers wavered from a trajectory in engineering and finance, and, bolstered by his studies in wine, turned to Joe Heitz for a single harvest. After a year with Heitz, and the ongoing mentorship of André Tchelistcheff, Travers, only thirty, purchased Mayacamas from the Taylors. The estate's winemaker, Bob Sessions – who would later, to legendary acclaim, become synonymous with Hanzell – remained by Travers's side until 1971.
Since 2013, the Schottenstein family and winemaker Andy Erickson have rigorously attended to the identity of Mayacamas – not merely with the intention of preservation, but invigoration. Working with Travers in the 2012 vintage, the winemaking team learned to forgo new oak and instead implement the winery's existing old casks – anything that still held wine. Only minor changes have since been implemented, including cooling equipment to stabilize fermentations and lengthen macerations (from twelve days to perhaps twenty). Greater work stood before them in the estate's fifty planted acres. The winery called on Phil Cotturi, to replant the ailing, phylloxera-afflicted AXR-rooted vines, and to institute organic viticulture and continue dry-farming. The replanting process – only about five acres per year – promises to revive the estate's yields for the next generation