Mayacamas Merlot 2018
The wine opens with lifted aromatics of violet and lavender supported by a lovely fruit set of raspberry, plum, and dried blueberry. Savory tones of dried sage and fresh mint broaden the mid-palate, bringing detail and nuance to the wine’s mid-weight frame. The finish is persistent with lingering notes of red berry fruit, black tea, and dried herbs.
Blend: 94% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
With 6% Cabernet Franc, both it and the Merlot aged in neutral French oak before spending additional time in foudre and barrel, this elegant wine is grippy in its youth, with undeniable structure and elegance. Chalky tannin and earthy iron, dried herb and violet accent beautiful layers of raspberry and plum. Built to age, enjoy best from 2028–2038.
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.
With generous fruit and supple tannins, Merlot is made in a range of styles from everyday-drinking to world-renowned and age-worthy. Merlot is the dominant variety in the wines from Bordeaux’s Right Bank regions of St. Emilion and Pomerol, where it is often blended with Cabernet Franc to spectacular result. Merlot also frequently shines on its own, particularly in California’s Napa Valley. Somm Secret—As much as Miles derided the variety in the 2004 film, Sideways, his prized 1961 Château Cheval Blanc is actually a blend of Merlot and Cabernet Franc.