Region: Napa Valley
Type: Red Wine
Founded in 1889, Mayacamas stands as one of the most storied vineyards and winery operations in Napa Valley, CA, located high on the slopes of Mount Veeder. In July 2013, Mayacamas was purchased by the Jay Schottenstein family, marking the beginning of a new era that included the meticulous restoration of the winery and the replanting the vineyards, overseen by winemaker Braiden Albrecht under the guidance of Andy Erickson, one of the most accomplished winemakers of his generation, along with renowned organic viticulturist Phil Coturri.
The grapes for the Merlot are grown on the steep, rocky hillsides of Mount Veeder. Grown between 1,800 and 2,000 ft. in elevation, these 30-year old vines produce small, intensely favored berries. The Mayacamas team harvests the grapes early to retain bright acidity and firm tannins. After two weeks of fermentation in concrete and stainless steel, the grapes are gently pressed and the aging process begins. The 2015 Merlot was aged 22 months in oak – 10 months in large format foudre and 12 months in barrique. The wine was then bottled and cellared another 12 months before release.
Aromas of brambly berries, cherries, and scrubby herbs mingled with leather and tobacco. On the palate, this is lively and concentrated, with excellent weight despite being only 13.5% alcohol. Similar flavors on the palate are joined by noes of cocoa powder, cherry pipe tobacco, and a long, spicy finish.