On the palate the youthful fruit is tempered by flint, wet stones, pear skin and nutmeg making for a supple yet fresh wine.
We first discovered the majesty of Mayacamas Chardonnay at a tasting in NYC in the summer of 1989. Drawn from some of the highest-elevation Chardonnay plantings on the coast, the 1981 Mayacamas was unlike any Chardonnay we’d ever smelled or sipped. Brilliant golden in hue, a drop-dead knockoff of a great Chablis Grand Cru, malolactic fermentation had been “blocked,” much explaining the wine’s extraordinary tension and lemon oil richness.
That kind of experience sticks with you. So when we recently tasted the 2013 Mayacamas Chardonnay in the winery — a wine that was crafted just as the 1981 had been — we couldn’t help but log in to cellartracker.com to see if any collectors had recently tasted and reviewed the 1981. Sure enough, on July 11, 2015, a collector logged in as “ACYSO” had:
“The best American chardonnay I’ve had, by leaps and bounds. This opened up with a very powerful saline note, which led me straight to Raveneau, and you know what, it sure as hell comes damn close…”
Suffice it to say that 2013 brings back visceral memories of the 1981.
For decades, Mayacamas has provided collectors of its world-class mountain Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay with unusually detailed notes — taken over the course of many days and many tastings. We rarely make mention of tasting notes found on winery “fact sheets,” though we sometimes include technical details like pH, total acidity, and alcohol readings. But this morning, we’re making an exception. Here’s what the winemaking team at Mayacamas had to say about this mind-boggling 2013:
“The 2013 Mayacamas Chardonnay is approachable and giving in its youth — at this early stage, the wine is expressive of both flowers — lilac, lily, honeysuckle and orange blossom — and fruits — full aromas of white peach, kefir lime zest, cantaloupe, and lychee. On the palate the youthful fruit is tempered by flint, wet stones, pear skin and nutmeg making for a supple yet fresh wine. After fermentation in a combination of neutral wood and stainless steel, the 2013 Chardonnay spent 12 months in barrique, less than 10% of which was new.”
When Antonio Galloni and Stephen Tanzer joined forces a couple years ago at Vinous, they created the most astute and experienced Chardonnay tasting team in the world. While there are slight disparities in the palates of each critic, both guys share a common approach to ratings: They’re stingy, and as a result, so is Vinous.
94 points from Antonio Galloni at Vinous. Mayacamas has agreed to an exclusive cellar release for WineAccess members. 94 points. Just $99 today for Napa Valley royalty. 110 magnums won’t last long. Shipping included on 2. Limit of 6 magnums per member. Sorry, no exceptions.
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