Even by old school Napa Valley standards, Mayacamas represents a bit of an anachronism. Its remote location high atop Mount Veeder seems like the furthest thing from Napa, and to some extent, it is — far removed from the valley floor both in terms of distance and in the style of wine. This is one of Napa’s most celebrated and historic estates and its stone winery, constructed in 1889, remains in use to this day.
When Bob Travers took over in 1968, Mayacamas was already well respected locally, but Bob, who had trained at Heitz Cellars, could see the potential to produce world-class wines from the estate. Bob fulfilled this promise, and by the time of the infamous 1976 “Judgement of Paris” tasting, which included his ’71 Cabernet, Mayacamas was already regarded as one of California’s great wineries.
In 2013 Charles Banks purchased the property, becoming only its fourth owner since 1889, and invested in both the winery and vineyards. He installed Andy Erickson as head winemaker and Annie Favia to oversee the viticulture. The new team pledged to stay true to the style of wine that has become synonymous with this incredible estate.
Like very few others in California, vintages of Mayacamas typically require significant cellaring before they start to show their classic Mount Veeder profile. As many long-time collectors can attest, great vintages of Mayacamas from the ’80s and ’90s are still going strong to this day. The top vintages of Mayacamas have become truly special drinking experiences while lesser vintages show a rustic charm in their imperfections, distinctly unique from their Napa Valley counterparts.
Today we are delighted to offer two vintages from this benchmark estate, the recently released 2011 and 2014 Mayacamas Cabernet Sauvignon. This wine is aged for 32 to 36 months in mostly neutral oak, beginning with 20 months in large casks and finishing with 12 more months in smaller 225- to 500-liter barrels.
Of the 2014, Jeb Dunnuck describes “An incredible wine that reminds me of a great vintage of Lafite… It’s a brilliant, classic, old-school styled Napa Cabernet done perfectly!” and awards a well-deserved 96 points.
Decanter’s Matthew Luczy awards 95 points for the 2011 noting “a beautiful expression from a producer that was stylistically well-suited for the conditions of 2011”.
Both just approaching their drinking windows now, these Cabernets will cellar nicely for the next couple of decades.
Mayacamas Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 (12x75cl)
£1100 per case 12 IB
Mayacamas Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 (12x75cl)
£1100 per case 12 IB
2014 Mayacamas Cabernet Sauvignon
96 Points | Jeb Dunnuck
An incredible wine that reminds me of a great vintage of Lafite, the 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon is a step up over the 2012, with more depth, richness, and elegance as well as texture. Stunning notes of red and blackcurrants, lead pencil shavings, cigar tobacco, and cedar all emerge from this incredibly elegant, ethereal, yet layered 2014 that has present yet polished tannin, impeccable balance, and sensational purity of fruit. It certainly offers pleasure today (more than the 2012) yet will benefit from 5-7 years of bottle age and keep for 2-3 decades. It’s a brilliant, classic, old-school styled Napa Cabernet done perfectly! (Drink between 2024-2049)
96 Points | Antonio Galloni
The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon is savory, fresh and super-inviting, as so many wines are in this vintage, Bright red cherry, iron, smoke, mint, wild flowers and anise all lift from the glass. Medium in body, taut and wonderfully focused, the 2014 is going to reward readers lucky enough to own it for many, many years. I especially like the pure energy and vibrancy that runs through the 2014. (Drink between 2024-2044)
2011 Mayacamas Cabernet Sauvignon
95 Points | Decanter
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. (Drink between 2021-2036)
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