Mayacamas Mt Veeder Cabernet 2018
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PRODUCER: Founded in 1889, Mayacamas stands as one of the most storied vineyards and winery operations in Napa Valley. In both the winery and in the vineyard, Mayacamas’ singular style drives encapsulates the traditional methods and pioneer-spirit of the first Napa winemakers.
VINEYARD: Each year Mayacmas strive to create wines that reflect site, vintage, and style. The grapegrowing and winemaking processes seek to highlight the intensity, elegance and nuance of mountain grown Cabernet Sauvignon. The 12 Cabernet Sauvignon blocks are spread across the 475-acre Estate at elevations ranging from 1,800 ft to 2,200 ft.
There are numerous soil profiles across these blocks, including compressed volcanic ash, fractured volcanic cobbles, gravelly loam, and cobbled clay. The rugged topography and intense exposure result in multiple microclimates where Cabernet Sauvignon can develop a range of flavor profiles. Keeping with tradition, the plantings are dominated by California heritage clonal selection – including from Sees, Martha’s, Niebaum, Martini and our Mayacamas house clone. The vineyards have been farmed organically since 2013.
WINEMAKING: The grapes are hand harvested early in morning and delivered to the winery cold to preserve their integrity. The winemaking team then inspect and sort clusters before detstemming. The destemmed berries (must) is then transferred to tank for fermentation. For fermentation, a combination of concrete tanks, stainless steel tanks and oak cooperage is used.
The fermenting must is pumped over and mixed each day to homogenize temperature and extract colour and flavour from the skins. Fermentation and maceration (time on skins) is typically between 10 and 25 days – flavour depending. Fermentation temperatures are on the cooler side – maxing out around 25 degrees during peak fermentation. The wine is then drained off skins and the skins are pressed to extract the last remaining wine.
The Cabernet Sauvignon is then aged in oak cooperage of various size, age, and origin. 24 Months of aging occurs in large format foudre with sizes ranging from 700 litres to 45 hectolitres. These are a mix of French and American oak and quite seasoned, with some nearly 100-years old. An additional 12 months of aging occurs in 225 litre barrique and 500 litre puncheon – typically with 10% New French Oak. Total élevage is 36 Months. Bottle conditioned for 1 year prior to release.
The Cabernet Sauvignon blend can vary depending on vintage. In certain vintages the bottling will be 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. Over the years the blend has also included percentages of Cabernet Franc and/or Merlot.
TASTING NOTE: 'This is an earthy, classically structured wine of great pedigree and style. It goes against the grain of bigger and riper wines. Tangy red fruit, sage and pencil shavings make for an expressive, lengthy and complex experience of elegance and grace. This wine will do well in the cellar. Enjoy best from 2028–2038.' - 96 Points - Virginia Boone, Wine Enthusiast