Tuesday, November 15, 2022

Mayacamas Mt Veeder Chardonnay for Smoked Turkey Dinner

Mayacamas Mt Veeder Chardonnay for Smoked Turkey Dinner

For a weeknight dinner, Linda prepared a smoked turkey breast with mash potatoes, gravy, and mixed vegetables. For a wine pairing,  I opened one of Linda's favorites, Mayacamas Mt Veeder Chardonnay.

We tasted this wine at the historic old winery and vineyards high atop Mt Veeder at the south end of the Mayacamas mountain range that separates Napa and Sonoma valleys during our Mt Veeder Napa Valley Wine Experience in 2011. We obtain and keep a half dozen vintages in our cellar ever since. 

We pulled this from the cellar for tonight's pairing, the oldest vintage release for this label, as part of effective cellar management.

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 vines.

The modern era Mayacamas dates back to 1968 when the property was taken over by Robert Travers who had worked at Heitz Cellars. He and his wife Elinor continued to focus on Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay striving to make wines of great character, depth, complexity, and longevity.

In July 2013, Mayacamas was purchased by Charles and Ali Banks in partnership with Jay Schottenstein and his son, Joey. Andy Erickson took over the Estate’s winemaking duties, and Phil Coturri took over farming and vineyard development. This release was crafted by Winemakers Andy Erickson and Braiden Albrech.

The old vines of the Terraces vineyard had been deteriorating, so after a long and productive life many were retired with the 2013 Harvest being their last. 

The 2013 harvest was small but was of exceptional quality, character, and intensity – a stand-out special release. That was bottled as a special designated one time bottling for the 2013 vintage year. 
Since then, many of the vines from the old historic vineyards have been replanted with only a few plots remaining from the old historic vines. 
In 2017, the Schottenstein family of Columbus, Ohio, took over the remainder of the 100% ownership of Mayacamas Vineyards to become sole proprietors of the estate and brand. As noted above, Jay Schottenstein and his son Joey had been partners in Mayacamas Vineyards since it was purchased from long-time owner Bob Travers in 2013. 
A month later in October 2017, the Nuns Fire reached Mayacamas Vineyards. One of the property’s historic buildings burned to the ground but the historic stone winery building constructed in 1889 survived intact.

The burned structure, was a building they called “the residence.” that served as the hospitality center for the winery (though Mayacamas is generally not open to the public for tastings). That building was completely destroyed.

This 2017 vintage of Mayacamas Chardonnay was the current era producer's team's fifth vintage release and they note it showcases both the site and vintage beautifully, a combination of old vines and new.
Mayacamas Mt Veeder Napa Valley Mt Veeder Chardonnay 2017 
The fruit for this 2017 release was sourced from Mt. Veeder Appellation vineyard sites, and harvested primarily from 40-year old dry farmed vines located between 1,800 and 2,000 feet in elevation above the fog line. It also includes some young vine Chardonnay from the newly replanted Hill Block. 
The producers were fortunate to have picked the grapes for this release well before the October 2017 fires that ravaged the area. Those that waited till late in the harvest were denied a harvest that year. 

The blend was aged 22 months in oak and 6 months in steel.
Winemakers notes for this release: "Aromas of ripe lemon honeysuckle and crushed oyster shell highlight the nose. On the palate, the wine has the classic Mayacamas acidity and is framed nicely by the textural richness in the mid-palate that comes from a warm vintage".
This release was awarded 95 points and *Editors' Choice* by Wine Enthusiast, 94 points by James Suckling and Vinous, 93 points by Decanter and 92 points from Wine Spectator.
Golden straw colored, full-bodied, structured and tight with dense but bright vibrant apple and pear fruits with notes of lemon citrus and peach and wet stone, with bright tangy acidity and creamy Oak on a lengthy finish.

RM 91 points.