California Old-School - Direct from the Cellar: 2003 Mayacamas Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon

Posted by CrushWine

California Old-School
- Direct from the Cellar
2003 Mayacamas Vineyards
Cabernet Sauvignon

"The 2003 Mayacamas Cabernet is a superb example of the vintage and would be one of the first wines I reached for as a birth year wine to set aside for children born in 2003."
–John Gilman

Mayacamas is a special place - a place where time stands still. It's a place where California's "Golden Age" continues to live on.

These wines are very close to our hearts - their 70 Cabernet is on the short list of Crush legends. Really, it's just an incredible wine.

Today, we're happy to offer a special parcel direct from Mayacamas' cellars of their 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon.

Mayacamas are unapologetically structured, built for the long-haul wines. This style of California wine has all but disappeared. And it's one that we love. Bordeaux lovers along with those interested in the honest expression of grapes and places are encouraged to check this out.

Much like the rediscovery of the Northern Rhône with producers like Verset and Gentaz-Dervieux, savvy collectors have begun buying up what little wine remains of California's "Golden Age." Bottles of old Inglenooks, Beaulieu Vineyards, Heitz, etc. are becoming rare and prices are beginning to jump up.

Thankfully, Mayacamas has stubbornly held on to this old style. Gilman sums it up very well when he writes, "Mayacamas continue to make wines every bit as profound and honest as was the case forty years ago… In my experience, they continue to almost singlehandedly carry the flag of the traditional style of California Cabernet."

As Gilman's note at the top makes clear, the 03 is a surprisingly structured example of the vintage. It was a warm vintage producing richer, more powerful wines. But it's not that simple with Mayacamas' 03. The riper vintage makes the 03 a little more accessible than is the norm here, but the wine still shows plenty of brightness, structure and mineral depth.

Part of the reason for the freshness and structure in Mayacamas' 03 is the location. Mayacamas is situated on Mount Veeder at an elevation of 1,800-2,400 feet above sea level. Combined with Mayacamas' winemaking, this results in deeply structured wines with good acid back bones.

Mayacamas' wines are as soulful and age-worthy as California winemaking gets. Their wines are a piece of California history that's practically gone. They should be celebrated for this as much as their quality.

To order, reply to or call the store at (212) 980-9463.

Jeremy Noye
Vice President
Crush Wine & Spirits

2003 Mayacamas Estate Cabernet Sauvignon

John Gilman: "The 2003 Mayacamas cabernet is a superb example of the vintage and would be one of the first wines I reached for as a birth year wine to set aside for children born in 2003, as this wine will easily outlast and outperform in the cellar ninety-nine percent of all the Bordeaux from this vintage. The wine is a blend this year of eighty percent cabernet sauvignon, ten percent cabernet franc and ten percent merlot, and weighs in at a very judicious 13.25 percent alcohol. The bouquet is deep, youthful and utterly classic, as it offers up a superb mélange of black cherries, cigar smoke, tar, complex soil tones, cassis and a lovely floral topnote. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and coolly reserved on the attack, with a rock solid core of fruit, fine-grained tannins and stunning length and grip on the nascently complex finish. A stellar bottle in the making."