Mayo Family Winery
2005 Random Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon
Cabernet Sauvignon •Random Ridge Vineyard
California: Napa Valley
What We Say
SAVINGS ALERT!: If you are lucky enough to grab 6 or more bottles of this great wine before we sell out, use coupon code SUPERSONOMA and we’ll give you Free Ground Shipping
EXCEPTIONAL WINE ALERT!: Today’s Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon is a big, bomber, stunner of a spectacular wine!
Mission Codename: The Random Zone
Operative: Agent Red
Objective: Return to Mayo Family Winery. Secure their highly sought-after Random Ridge Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Mayo Family Winery
Wine Subject: 2005 Random Ridge Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
Winemaker: Michel Berthoud
Winemaker intel brief: Long-term Wine Spies Operatives know this, but newer Operatives should know that Michel Berthoud was formerly the winemaker for Arrowood Winery. A few months ago we featured an Arrowood wine here.
Backgrounder: Last month we featured another superb Mayo Reserve red. The wine was so well received by those that were able to get their hands on some that requests for a second May Family wine have been pouring in. In particular, their Random Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon seems to be the in-demand wine of choice among our thirsty Operatives. Read Agent Red’s tasting notes below, followed by the great experience that he had in meeting Jeffrey Mayo and his staff at the Mayo Reserve Room
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Deep garnet to burgundy with concentrated color right out to its ruby edges, and great clarity through its almost solid heart of garnet. When swirled, the wine settles fast, but then leaves behind thick and slow-moving legs
Smell – Deeply fragrant with a big intensity of ripe black fruits of blackberry, blueberry, smoky plum, cherries and soft oak with violet, anise, earth, mushroom and mildest cigar box rounding out the nose
Feel – Initially smooth and slightly round, them quickly grippy with big tannins, full-bodied with solid flavor intensity
Taste – Richly layered flavors of black and red fruit balanced with oak, dried herbs, subtle salty licorice and a mild minerality
Finish – Long, long, long, with lush and mouth-filling flavors that linger forever
Conclusion – This is an incredible Cabernet Sauvignon that is ready to drink now, but will reward the patient for years to come. If you love expressive and big Cabernet Sauvignon but don’t want your senses to be blown out by an over-the-top example, this wine is strongly recommended. Present here are beautiful aromas, rich and lucious flavors, a fantastic mouth-feel and a super long finish. These all add up to deliver a wine that is exciting to drink and a pleasure to share. We first encountered Random Ridge fruit (found in this wine, too) from Random Ridge Winery and wine legend, Bill Hawley, when we featured his wine earlier this year. Bill grows fruit at the highest-possible elevation in Napa, on his estate vineyards, at the tippy-top of Mt. Veeder. Bill’s influence and that of his incredible fruit are aparent in this wine. So, too, is the Mayo Reserve signature style; The wine has a bold and big character – kinda like our friend Jeffrey Mayo – but you also find a special lush quality to the wine. Is Jeff a lush? You’ll have to ask him!
DECANT ALERT!: This wine dies not pussy-foot around. Right out of the freshly opened bottle, the wine can tend to be a little brazen – but decant for a few hours and the patient will be rewarded with more subtlety and calmer fruits.
The following is a retransmisison of Agent Red’s initial visit to the Mayo Reserve Room, a mission that we suggest you also undertake:
I love you, Jeffrey Mayo! Thank you for “tricking” me into into experiencing the wonder and deliciousness of your Mayo Family Reserve Room.
It began like this: On the recommendation, no, the insistence of a few dedicated Wine Spies Operatives, I made an appointment to visit with Jeffrey Mayo, who runs the winery. Appointment secured, I conducted my usual thorough background investigation. What I learned was impressive; The Mayo family, their winemaker and their wines were all very well respected. I looked forward to my meeting with Jeffrey, and the simple tasting that would accompany the meet.
I arrived on time at the winery’s Reserve Room, a unique place where wine lovers can enjoy a flight of Mayo Family Reserve wines along with food pairings created by resident Chef Billy Oliver. I assumed that Jeffrey had me meet him at the Reserve Room because it was convenient to his schedule. Instead, I found that he had planned a subtle subterfuge.
Jeffrey welcomed me when I arrived and immediately asked me if I wanted to experience the wine and food pairing that they were famous for. I politely declined, citing a recent lunch, but then Jeffrey told me that he had a ‘small wine emergency’ to attend to. He was apologetic and he assured me that he would be back after about 30 minutes, the perfect amount of time to enjoy the complete tasting. I accepted, knowing that it would, at the very least, be an interesting experience. Instead of interesting, however, it turned out to be incredible.
Firstly, the Chef Billy Oliver and the rest of the Reserve Rooms staff were all great – and they made me feel right at home.
Glasses lined up, four wines were poured. Then a beautifully presented plate of food samples arrived! I was given ample time to explore each Mayo Family Reserve wine before tasting its accompanying paired food. We tasted through the whites first and then came to today’s 2005 Reserve Petite Sirah, which was paired with a Creole-Molasses Glazed Pork Tenderloin with Red Wine-Blackberry Salsa. Firstly, the wine was exquisite! Big and bold and rich and layered with aromas and flavors, I wondered what the pairing would be like. I nearly fell out of my chair as bit into Chef Billy’s concoction! Delicious does not even begin to describe it. This was a pairing to die for.
(Don’t worry, we’ll include the recipe with your order!)
The rest of the pairing exercise was rife with much ‘ooohing’ and ‘ahhing’ and not just from me. A local innkeeper came in to enjoy the pairing as well. She’ll be insisting that her guests pay the Mayo Family Reserve Room a visit when enjoying their stay in her Sonoma County inn.
At the end of the pairing, I was well sated and very happy that I had indulged. Jeffrey returned and I could tell by the smile on his face that his mission was accomplished.
We chatted for a while and, right then and there, he agreed to allow our Operatives the opportunity to purchase all of his remaining 2005 Reserve Petite Sirah, as it was clearly my favorite of the afternoon.
Thanks, Jeff! I’m certain that our Operatives will love the wine, too.
Wine Spies Winery Check:
The Mayo Reserve Room, where Agent Red had his exquisite tasting adventure, can be seen in this satellite photo.
The Mayo Family winery main tasting room can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the Winery Says
About This Wine:
Officially this vineyard is in Napa “Valley”. However, it really sits on the very top of the mountain that divides Sonoma Valley from Napa Valley. The mountain grown grapes give us obscenely rich, intense wine that is stuffed full of dark berry and cassis flavors backed up by a structure that begs for cellaring. Very little is produced in part because yields are so low in the vineyard, but also because fruit from this vineyard is very difficult to come by. Fortunately, our relationship with the owner/grower is quite solid. Enjoy this wine with a medium rare, well seared rib eye.
The Mayo Family Winery:
Mayo Family WineryMayo 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.
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: Mt. Veeder District – Napa Valley
Special Designation: Random Ridge Vineyard