Tuesday, December 13, 2022

Mayacamas Mt Veeder Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2005

Mayacamas Mt Veeder Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2005

For midweek dinner in, we selected this legendary Napa Valley Cabernet from the cellar. 

This follows a recent blogpost about Mayacamas when we selected a Mayacamas Chardonnay for a similar setting, midweek dinner in. In a replay of highlights from that blogpost I wrote:

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. 

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.

Mayacamas has been on a roll with their estate Cabernet Sauvignon with the 2015 vintage having been awarded #2 on Wine Spectators Top 100 wines in 2019 with a 96 point score. The 2018 vintage was awarded 98 points by Vinous and 97 points by Wine Spectator.
Mayacamas Mt. Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon 2005 
My Cellartracker records and my blogpost from that Mayacamas Vineyards and Winery visit from that time indicate we tasted and purchase this wine at the winery during that visit back in 2011. 

Cellartracker - purchased from Winery on 3/7/2011, delivered 3/25/2011.

At that time I gave it 91 points.

Winemaker's Comments: Deep, brooding blackberry and black cherry aromas, along with a sage-like dimension, on the nose.  The acidity on the tongue balances the surprisingly supple tannins.  Red currants and plums on the palate finish very long.  Will age gracefully for many years. 
This is a blend of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Cabernet Franc, and 10% Merlot.

This release was awarded 96 points by Vinous and 94 points by Decanter.

At seventeen years, this is likely at the apex of its drinking and not to improve further with additional aging, nor does it show any signs whatsoever from aging. 
In 2018 AG at Vinous wrote that "Readers lucky enough to own the 2005 can look forward to several decades of exceptional drinking from this powerhouse, old school Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon."
Wine buddy and fellow Pour Boy and Cellartracker Bill C was with us when we visited the estate and also wrote about this wine recently last summer. He wrote:  "Wow! Great depth and complexity. Deep garnet color with no signs of aging. Nose of cassis and graphite. Blueberry, plum and cassis on the front palate with layers of green pepper, mint and tobacco on the mid palate. Big and full bodied with ample tannins yet. Layered and complex.  Tannin and savory notes were most prevalent upon first tasting. Fruit took front stage at about 90 minutes. Tannins became more sedate at 2 hours and the balance, elegance and layers revealed themselves at about 2 and a half hours. A real treat." He gave it 94 points.
Regarding the bottle from our cellar, the fill level, foil and label, and importantly, the cork were all in ideal condition. 
Upon opening it exhibited some funkiness but that dissipated over the course of about an hour after opening. It should be decanted as it had a fair amount of sediment in the bottle.
Bright garnet colored, medium full bodied, rustic rich round concentrated intense black berry and plum fruits with notes of earth, leather, smoke, licorice and tobacco on a lingering moderate tannin finish.
RM 91 points.