Legendary does not even begin to describe this experience. It was a beautiful sunny day in June, our final day of tasting in Napa, we headed to Mayacamas, and thanks to assistant winemaker Aaron Whitlatch, we were able to participate in a 29 year vertical of Sauvignon Blanc. We also got to experience Pinot Noirs from the 1980s and Cabernet Sauvignons from the 190s! (Shout out to Aaron for letting us crash on his couches for a week).
When thinking of Sauvignon Blanc, my mind always first goes to "cat pee on a gooseberry bush" or Sancerre. I had never really thought about older vintage Sauvignon Blancs. It makes sense that they would be able to stand up over time as other noble varieties, Sauvignon Blanc has high acidity and is often barrel fermented and matured.
We did a vertical of Sauvignon Blanc from 1990- 2019, surprisingly the 1990 still had bright lemon aromas and flavors with a bit of raw asparagus, yet pleasant. Of course, a few had oxidized, but the standouts for me were 1996, 1998, and 2003.
Then we moved on to some Pinots, 1980, 1984, and 1995; unfortunately, they were all off!
Lastly, I got to experience the oldest wines I have personally tasted, 1962-1965 Cabernet Sauvignon! The 1964 still had some fresh fruit notes with a lingering mouthfeel, and the 1965 carried the same tune.
Mayacamas is way up in the mountains with spectacular views and fantastic hospitality!