1998 Dalla Valle "Maya" Napa Valley Bordeaux Blend
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 1998 Maya (500 cases from a blend of 45% Cabernet Franc and 55% Cabernet Sauvignon) is an amazing effort, possessing multiple layers of fruit, sweet tannin, and no herbaceousness, astringency, or thinness. This is an amazing tour de force in winemaking for the vintage. It is loaded, with impeccable balance. Anticipated maturity: now-2020. As I indicated in my December, 2000 report, Dalla Valle's 1998s are candidates for wines of the vintage. (RP)
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Deep ruby-red. High-pitched aromas of black cherry, blueberry, licorice, shoe polish and violet. Extremely primary and dense, with lively flavors of cassis, licorice, violet and shoe polish. Finishes with very fine tannins, and persistent, slow-building flavors. Not yet open in the middle palate, but there nothing about this wine to suggest that it's from a mediocre year. Indeed, notes winemaker Mia Klein, the cabernet franc, which comprises 45% of the blend, was strong in 1998. 93+ (ST)
One of the biggest revelations in this tasting, the 1998 Maya is drop-dead gorgeous. Expressive aromatics lift from the glass, followed by small red berries, pine, menthol and leather. The 1998 is all about detail. What a wonderful surprise the 1998 Maya has turned out to be. There is also little doubt the 1998, from a poorly regarded vintage, has handled time with far more grace than the 1997. (AG)
*Cellar Selection* Dark, ripe, rich and intense, with a complex and persistent beam of black cherry, blackberry, currant, anise and sage, turning floral, picking up hints of plum and chocolate. Firmly tannic, so short-term cellaring is advised.