1997 Mayacamas Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon (1.5L)

SKU #1328174 96 points Vinous

 The 1997 Cabernet Sauvignon tastes almost like it was made yesterday, such is its freshness. Pliant, explosive and racy, the 1997 bursts on the palate with waves of dark red fruit. The flavors remain pretty primary, so readers who want the full Mayacamas experience will have to give the 1997 further bottle age. That is the bad news. The good news is that the 1997 is a truly special wine that will thrill readers for the next two-plus decades. (AG) 96+  (6/2014)

94 points John Gilman

 The 1997 Mayacamas Cabernet is a very classically styled and promising bottle in the making, with the depth, nascent complexity and impressive structural elements that have long defined this great property. In this vintage the Travers family has fashioned their flagship bottling from a blend of eighty-eight percent Cabernet Sauvignon, ten percent Cabernet Franc and two percent Merlot. The bouquet on the 1997 is deep and classic, as it offers up a still adolescent mélange of black cherries, cassis, tarry tones, woodsmoke and a lovely base of mountain soil. On the palate the wine is full-bodied, deep and very sweet at the core, with bright acids, plenty of ripe tannin, and lovely length and grip on the still fairly primary, but palate staining finish. While this wine is certainly drinkable today with some extended aeration, I would opt for giving it at least another decade of bottle age to really allow it to blossom. Excellent potential. (Drink between 2017-2050)  (1/2008)

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Cabernet Sauvignon and Blends

- Cabernet Sauvignon has come a long way from its role as a blending varietal, however dominant, in the wines of Bordeaux. Today it is the most planted red varietal in the world. Identified as a descendent of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc, the late-ripening Cabernet Sauvignon needs to be planted in warmer climates to fully ripen. Its small berries can easily be identified for their distinctive blue color, thick skins and high tannins. And while the varietal has its own definitive characteristics: green pepper-like aromas and black currant flavors among them, it is perhaps most prized for its ability to convey terroir, vintage and winemaking. A relatively new varietal, Cabernet Sauvignon started making inroads into the wines of the M├ędoc and Graves in the late-18th century. Today it is also dominant in the up-and-coming Entre-Deux-Mers region of Bordeaux and can also be found in Southwest France. It is the companion varietal to Sangiovese in Italy's Super Tuscans and is planted all over Europe, stretching to lesser-known winegrowing regions like Russia and Lebanon. In the Americas Cabernet Sauvignon has found champions in every nook and cranny of California and among winemakers in Washington, where it complements plantings of Merlot. In South America, Cab thrives in Chile, but can also be found in smaller amounts in Argentina and even in Mexico.

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world.


- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year.
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Napa Valley

- America's most famous wine region, which encompasses a varied geographical territory running about 20 miles long from the San Francisco Bay northward to the foot of Mount St. Helena. Napa's great diversity, both in terms of climate and terroir, has led to the creation of a number of smaller AVAs like Stags Leap District, Rutherford, Howell Mountain, Oakville and Mount Veeder, among others. Cabernet and chardonnay still reign supreme, but just about everything under the sun is grown in Napa Valley, in quality levels ranging from $2 jug wine to $500 a bottle California cab.