Mayacamas Chardonnay 2016
The 2016 vintage of Mayacamas Chardonnay — our team's fourth as winemakers — continues the legacy of fresh and powerful mountain chardonnay. Aromas of Meyer lemon, river rock, vanilla bean, and honeysuckle highlight the nose. On the palate, the wine strikes a balance of richness and focus — mouthwatering acidity and flinty minerality lead into flavors of lemon curd, almond and passion fruit.
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Founded in 1889, Mayacamas stands as one of the most storied vineyard and winery operations in the history of American wine. Through its more than 125 years of production, Mayacamas has earned its place as a standard-bearer of traditional winemaking, and the source of some of California’s most iconic and longest-lived bottles.
Named for mountain range that divide the Napa and Sonoma valleys, the old stone winery was dug into the side of a dormant volcano crater in 1889 and has remained in production ever since. For generations, methods and tools have been passed from owner to owner, and the Mayacamas style has remained remarkably consistent.
As the newest owners in a lineage of pioneering caretakers spanning numerous generations, we faithfully steward Mayacamas towards a bright future, ever mindful of the great traditions of the past. Since 2013, our team has worked tirelessly to restore all aspects of the Mayacamas operation, ensuring continued success for this unique American story.
Centered at the peak for which it is named, Mount Veeder is Napa’s largest sub-AVA. But even though the entire appellation spreads over 16,000 acres, vineyards cover a mere 1,000. Scattered among Douglas firs and bristlecone pines, Mount Veeder vineyards extend south from the upper elevations of the Mayacamas Mountains—the highest point at 2,400 feet—to the border of the Carneros region. Less than 25 wineries produce wine from Mount Veeder fruit.
Winemaking began early in this appellation. In 1864, Captain Stelham Wing presented the first Mount Veeder wine to the Napa County Fair; it came from today’s Wing Canyon Vineyard. Prohibition, of course, halted winemaking and viticulture wasn’t revitalized until the founding of Mayacamas Vineyards in 1951 and Bernstein Vineyards in 1964.
The Bernstein Vineyards was actually home to the first Petit Verdot in California, planted in 1975. Today most of the Petit Verdot in Napa Valley originates from this vineyard.
Rocky volcanic clay and ancient seabed matter dominate Mount Veeder soils—perfect for Bordeaux varieties. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot enjoy spectacular success. These varieties produce wines rich in brambly blackberry and black cherry fruit with herbal and floral aromatics. Structures are moderate to assertive and wines have great staying power.
Chardonnay from Mount Veeder is lush, full and balanced mineral and fresh citrus flavors.
One of the most popular and versatile white wine grapes, Chardonnay offers a wide range of flavors and styles depending on where it is grown and how it is made. While it tends to flourish in most environments, Chardonnay from its Burgundian homeland produces some of the most remarkable and longest lived examples. California produces both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines. Somm Secret—The Burgundian subregion of Chablis, while typically using older oak barrels, produces a bright style similar to the unoaked style. Anyone who doesn't like oaky Chardonnay would likely enjoy Chablis.