What We Say 2007 Napa Valley Meritage
SUPERIOR WINE ALERT:
Today’s amazing Meritage, from our friends at Mayo Family Winery, is a wine of great distinction and quality, earning it this special award. If you haven’t tried the wines from Mayo, this is one that you won’t want to miss.
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Mission Codename: Please, sir, I want another glass
Operative: Agent Red
Objective: Revisit our friends at Mayo Family Winery and acquire their unreleased 2007 Meritage, a wine that may never see a public release – but may only distributed to the winery’s own wine club.
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Mayo Family Winery
Wine Subject: 2007 Napa Valley Meritage – Oliver’s Twist Vineyard
Winemaker: Michel Berthoud
Backgrounder: Meritage (pronounce like ‘heritage’, no French style accent) wine, blends made in the tradition of the great wines of Bordeaux can only carry the name if the winery is a member of The Meritage Association based in Sonoma County. Most wines made in the US are varietal wines, comprised of over 75% of a single varietal. Unfortunately, this labeling requirement is believed to impair many winemakers from making exceptional blends, since they are often labeled as simply Red Table Wine with the noble grapes of Bordeaux. Thus in 1988 Meritage was born as a way to highlight the winemaker’s art of careful blending and crafting of wines in the tradition of some of Europe’s finest wines.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Darkest ruby hues, with even coloting – from core to slightly lighter edge. The wine appear heavy in the glass. After swirling, tall columns of evenly spaced tears run slowly down the glass. After a few minutes, another round of tears can be observed – moving even more slowly.
Smell – Complex and sweet, with aromas of red cherry After some decanting, exotic spice, sweet pipe tobacco, cherry cola and cocoa emerge.
Feel – Immediately, the medium body of this wine lands on the palate, spreading a crushed velvet feel throughout. The wine is smooth and softly dry, with bright acids that appear at the back-palate.
Taste – Generous and ripe with sweet red cherry, raspberry, strawberry and a little blackberry. Soft, exotic spice, cola, black tea, dark mushroom, earth and toasted oak all contribute to the complex layers of flavors.
Finish – Ultra long, with the ripe fruit fading slowly. Fruit eventually yields to spice, cocoa and oak. These leave behind smooth and softly drying tannins.
Conclusion – This hearty, flavorful, delicious, complex wine gets our heartiest recommendation! Jeffrey Mayo, and his winemaker, Michel Berthoud, have crafted a remarkable wine in their 2007 Mayo Family Winery Napa Valley Meritage. The wine is a fruit-driven masterpiece that bursts with flavor. I declare this wine to be the best Meritage I have tasted in recent memory. The wine combines ripe, authentic fruit with just the right amount of earthen character, to deliver a delicious wine that is as exciting to sniff and hold in ones mouth as it is to enjoy sip after delicious sip. Pair this wine with a bacon wrapped filet or a big plate of Spaghetti Bolognese. This wine may only be made available to the winery’s wine club, so please don’t miss out on this exclusive offer.
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The approximate location of the Mayo Family Winery tasting room, in Glen Ellen, in the Sonoma Valley, can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the Winery Says
Mayo Family Winery
About This Wine:
Meritage wines must be a blend of at least two of the traditional Bordeaux varieties: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petite Verdot and Malbec. This Meritage, produced from the finest vineyard sources in the Napa Valley, is a hand-selected blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Verdot and Cabernet Franc. This is a richly delicious wine that balances lush dark mixed berry fruit with subtle spice and hints of vanilla, cocoa and flinty minerals. With a balanced, medium body, this wine pairs easily with grilled meats. roasts.
About The Winery:
Mayo Family Winery produces small lots of single-vineyard wines under the premise that the world’s most interesting and highest quality wines must come from a single-vineyard source that can be expressed in the wines’ aroma, taste and texture. Founded in 1993, the winery has two winemaking facilities in Glen Ellen, California, each fitted and equipped to produce particular types of wines. Mayo Family wines are only sold online or in our tasting room attached to the winery in the town of Glen Ellen and our three other tasting rooms in Sonoma Valley; they are not distributed across the country.
Henry & Diana Mayo, Founder/Owners
Diane Mayo, after a lifetime of living in or around Sonoma Valley, decided in 1990 to raise some grapes. Her husband, Henry, cleared off a beautiful valley and in 1990 planted 3,000 Chardonnay vines. In 1993 they bottled their first 200 cases and dicovered it was very good. The following year, 1,200 cases were produced, and they were overwhelmed. Henry still had his day job as the Real Estate Broker with Frank Howard Allen, so they picked up the phone and called their son, Jeffrey—the rest is history! Today they love the wines that Michael Berthoud is making and they love their Sonoma Valley…making it all a match made in heaven.
Jeffrey H. Mayo, President
Since leaving his position in 1995 as Vice President of Acquisitions for one of California’s largest homebuilders, Jeffrey Mayo has lived and breathed wine. In large part, Mayo Family Winery is a combination of Jeffrey’s progressive and well-developed business expertise as well as his passion for wine. He is one of those wine lovers that seeks out the world’s most interesting wines, takes every opportunity to indulge his palate, and believes that any wine can be good if it engages your intellect as well as your senses. To that end, Jeffrey put the family’s winery on a path specializing in single vineyard wines. He realized early on that Mayo Family Winery had to take this road and never waver if its wines were to capture the imagination of wine lovers. Today, Jeffrey oversees sales and production. If he’s not selling Mayo Family wines he’s on a forklift moving bins of grapes or pallets of wine.
About The Winemaker:
Winemaker, Michel Berthoud – Formerly Winemaker for Arrowood Vineyards just down the road, Michel joined the Mayo Family Winery just prior to the start of the 2004 harvest. The many awards and accolades his Arrowood wines won and the following he created for himself were a result of the lesson he learned from Dick Arrowood and his own well-developed sense that winemaking is an artisan process that demands a feel for the land as well as an artist’s well honed technique. Born and raised in Sonoma Valley, Michel oversees all the winemaking at Mayo Family as well as works closely with the winery’s many grower partners.
Appellation: Napa Valley