There are wines you fancy, wines you want badly and wines you have to buy. The Mayacamas ticked all these boxes, but particularly the third. An eighteen year old wine from a top Californian producer famous for their age-worthy, lighter Cabernets, and the price reduced to half - I had to get it. Mayacamas Vineyards go back to 1899 and rose to prominence when their Cabernet was included in the famous 1976 Paris blind tasting battle France vs. California.
In 2006, the blind tasting was repeated and the Mayacamas came third out of ten red wines, beating the likes of Château Mouton-Rothschild and Haut-Brion. So, when I saw my Mayacamas at Battersea wine shop Philglass & Swiggot I did not hesitate for second and decided to take it to Munich for a blind tasting at a Wine Rambler full committee meeting.
Full of excitement we uncorked the bottle and found a wine of a colour that was somewhere between rusty iron and red brick. Pretty. On the tongue furniture polish was the first aroma we noticed, old furniture mixed with vegetable (somewhere between broccoli and vegetable stock). Then came the fruit, cherry and alcohol marinated fruit, a hint of fruit in rum perhaps, and leathery aromas. One of us was reminded of vegetable baby mash - in a more serious, sophisticated way. On the tongue a surprisingly fresh and lively wine with good acidity, pronounced fruit and a lovely cocoa powdered finish. After a while the fruit lost a little focus though.
Very pleasant to drink and still amazingly lively, the Mayacamas was very good though failed to bring the big wow factor. I guess the people at Philglas & Swiggot knew why it was time to half-price it (£35 instead of £70). Still, if you come across another bottle there, go and get it!