What We Say 2009 The Gypsy 'Jessica's Cuvee' GSM Blend
SUPERIOR WINE ALERT:
Today’s terrific GSM blend handily earned a top spot in our hearts. We always bring you the greatest wines that we can sleuth out but when one really shines brightly, we issues these special alerts.
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Mission Codename: Prince Valiant
Operative: Agent Red
Objective: Respond to reports that Mayo Family Winery has released a new GSM Blend; taste the wine and, if it meets our exacting standards, secure an allotment for our thirsty Operatives.
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Mayo Family Winery
Wine Subject: 2009 The Gypsy – Jessica’s Cuvee – Sonoma Valley
Winemaker: Michel Berthoud
Backgrounder: Our Operatives know, by now, of our fondness for Mayo Family wines. Over the course of the last four plus 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. Today’s blend combines Grenache from the Judge Vineyard in Sonoma Valley, as well as a little bit of Syrah and Mourvedre from winemaker Michel Berthoud’s own vineyard in the town of Sonoma.
The Southern Rhone Valley in France is famous for its Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre-based blends that dance on the palate with a range of flavors, richness and elegance. With the popularity and awareness of such wines, more and more California producers are trying their hand with proprietary Rhone style blends. While these blends do not have to adhere to the strict AOC restrictions, they do capture the style very well. They even, on occasion, excel. Today’s selection is 70% Grenache, 29% Syrah with just 1% Mourvedre.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Beautiful dark ruby hues, from core to glinting edge. When you spin the wine, the color takes on a lovely pale crimson hue. When the wine settles, tall, skinny, wine-stained legs form high up on the glass wall, before sauntering slowly downward.
Smell – Sweet candied cherry, red plum, sweet raspberry jam, strawberry and soft brown spice combine with soft, sweet oak, dusty cocoa, dried fig and soft minerals.
Feel – Medium-weight on entry, the wine glides onto the mid palate where it takes on a off-dry and softly plush feel. A gentle dryness gradually increases, eventually spreading to the lips and cheeks.
Taste – Cherry, underripe blackberry, black plum and dried cranberry take the lead. As the wine opens up, flavors of black cherry, dried brown tobacco leaf, dried violets, brown spice and black pepper follow on.
Finish – Initially rich and flavor-packed. Red fruits fade, first, and then black fruits sustain for a very long time. A tasty smokiness appears as the fruits fade. Moments later, a soft, mineral rich dryness spreads throughout the palate, eventually drying the lips and cheeks.
Conclusion – This wine is…. fantastic! Loaded with fruit this wine has a deep nose and a very delicious palate. Decant for at least an hour, and the wine really springs to life, delivering much more fruit character. A soft smokiness does something to really support the fruit, allowing it to shine in the mouth. The finish is dynamic and really very intriguing, with one flavor clearly giving way to another – and then on to spice, ryness and minerals – all in distinct stages. For their first effort at a GSM, I’d say that Mayo nailed it with their 2009 The Gypsy. I am extraordinarily choosy about GSM, which I almost always find to bee to astringent. This wine shows beautiful balance of flavors, aromatics and feel. If you love great blends, this wine is very highly recommended.
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The location of the Mayo Family tasting room, at the gateway to beautiful Glen Ellen, California, can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the Winery Says
Mayo Family Winery
About This Wine:
This is the first-ever GSM we’ve made at Mayo Family Winery. However, when we were playing around with trial blends we had beautiful Grenache from the Judge Vineyard in Sonoma Valley, as well as a little bit of Syrah and Mourvedre from winemaker Michel Berthoud’s own vineyard in the town of Sonoma. So, we decided to see what what we could do.
After a great deal of trials, we came up with a blend of 70% Grenache, 29% Syrah and 1% Mourvedre. Jeff and Mike looked at each other and nodded….They had it.
The new wine we call “The Gypsy” is unearths a beautiful selection cranberry, strawberry and blueberry aromas along with hints of caramel and sweet summer herbs. We LOVE this wine and think you’ll find it a unique and appropriate pair for your upcoming barbecues, winter stews and grilled meats!!
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: Sonoma Valley
Varietal: Red Blend