Mayo Family Winery
2006 Red Dog Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon
Cabernet Sauvignon •Red Dog Vineyard
California: Napa Valley
What We Say
SUPERIOR WINE ALERT:
As with the previous vintage of this wine, this current vintage easily earned this special alert. We always bring you great wines, but when one is really great, we issue these special alerts.
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Mission Codename: Clifford!
Operative: Agent Red
Objective: Return to Mayo Family Winery, secure the last remaining bottles of their coveted Red Dog Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, a wine that we a smash hit with out Operatives during previous vintages.
Mission Status: Accomplished
Current Winery: Mayo Family Winery
Wine Subject: 2006 Red Dog Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon
Winemaker: Michel Berthoud
Backgrounder: Our Operatives know, by now, of our fondness for Mayo Family wines. Over the course of the last four and a half years, we have gotten to know Jeffrey Mayo, who runs the winery, and his entire crew. We love the people as much as we love the wines.
Some of the best Cabernet Sauvignon in the world come from Napa Valley. A delicious and elegant example of the varietal, today’s wine is a Classic Napa Cabernet. Approachable, richly layered and deeply delicious, this wine shows off the winemaking skills of Michael Berthoud. It is a delicious wine at a price that is difficult to resist.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Beautiful dark crimson hues, with evenly concentrated color, from center to edge of glass. After swirling, wine-stained legs take a long time to emerge, starting high on the glass.
Smell – Lush, fragrant and bursting with berries, this wine exudes sweet blackberry, raspberry, blueberry and cassis. After swirling (or decanting) for a while, the wine reveals additional aromas of spiced cherry, cranberry, anise, bramble, dried tobacco and dark chocolate.
Feel – Round and soft at first. Then, the wine gains some dimension on the mid-palate where plush tannins and a balanced acidity add intriguing structure.
Taste – Generous, concentrated and richly layered, with dark berry fruit of blackberry, blueberry and dark strawberry. These set the stage – and prepare the palate for more complex follow-on flavors that include dried violets, soft spice, cocoa dust, cigar box and subtle bramble.
Finish – Very long and concentrated, with sustained berry flavors. These give way to spice, cigar box and slate. At the very end, a hint of black pepper put a fine point on your sip.
Conclusion – Today’s high-elevation wine, the 2006 Red Dog Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, from our friends at Mayo Family Winery, is a rich, concentrated, delicious delight! As with the previous vintage of this wine, today’s balances big, bold flavors against a certain elegance that had our tasting panel admiring it greatly. Drinking beautifully now, this wine is the sort that could improve for the next decade or longer. Personally, I’m not that patient. Though I will do my best to lay some down for the next few years. Pair as you would a big, classic Cabernet. Our tasting panel enjoyed ours with a grilled New York steak with lot’s of black pepper and garlic.
What the Winery Says
About This Wine:
The Red Dog Vineyard sits 1,600 feet above sea level, just east of Napa’s famed Silverado Trail. This high elevation, lack of ground water, and the site’s rocky soils stress the grapevines, resulting in clusters of tiny grapes. As most color and flavor comes from the skins in red wines, the smaller the berries, the higher the skin to juice ratio and the more intense the wine. Simply taste this 100% Cabernet Sauvignon and you will see why hillside vineyards are always more prized than those on the valley floor.
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
Varietal: Cabernet Sauvignon