As fans know, Maya comes from a very special section of the estate vineyard, situated in the valley's eastern foothills, below Pritchard Hill and in the above the Oakville floor, overlooking Screaming Eagle. The blend is two-thirds Cabernet Sauvignon and one-third Cabernet Franc. Deep garnet-purple in color, the 2019 Maya slowly unfurls to reveal a firework display of redcurrant preserves, kirsch, boysenberries and wild blueberries, followed by iron ore, red roses, cardamom, fallen leaves and crushed rocks, with a waft of pencil shavings. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is stunningly graceful and refined, featuring exhilarating mineral sparks among the red and black fruits, finishing with so much brightness and energy. Breathtaking!
Drink 2025 - 2055
Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Wine Advocate (Nov 2021)
Silky concentrated, liqourice, savoury tannins, slate, softened structure at this point but still powerful. This is excellent. Andy Erikson winemaker at this 8.5ha estate.
Drink 2024 - 2040
Jane Anson, janeanson.com (Jun 2022)
The clarity of fruit is so impressive with blackberry and blueberry aromas and so many violets. It’s full-bodied, yet tight and reserved, with very polished, strong tannins that are long and well-formed. There’s freshness and brightness, though. A cool and toned young red. Try after 2025.
James Suckling, jamessuckling.com (Aug 2022)
Smells gorgeous, heady and seductive. Smooth and sensual, this is a bold wine, concentrated and intense, full of silky but grippy tannins, liquorice and herbal spice with dark chocolate covered blackcurrants all delivered so well. Such pristine quality to this with detail and nuance. It's heady and rich and at 15% you can feel the alcohol but there is definition and direction here. It's unashamedly confident and wows on the palate.
Drink 2025 - 2049
Georgina Hindle, Decanter.com (Jul 2022)
About this WINE
Dalla Valle Vineyards
Dalla Valle Vineyards overlooks the Napa Valley floor from a hillside terrace 400 feet above the Silverado Trail in Oakville. Since Gustav and Naoko Dalla Valle purchased the property in 1982 and began planting vines, this exceptional acreage has continually distinguished itself as the ideal site for producing some of the world’s finest wines, thanks to the perfect convergence of lingering sunlight, cooling marine influence and red volcanic soil.
This jewel in the crown originates in the remarkable vineyard that shares its name. A proprietary blend aged in primarily new French oak, Maya showcases the site’s exceptional Cabernet Franc; it is graceful and alluring with an unmistakable pedigree. Fewer than 500 cases are produced each year.
North Coast's Napa Valley is California's most famous viticultural area (AVA), claiming some of the most expensive agricultural land in the world and producing wines of cult status.
Its 16,000 ha of vines lie over a strip (40 miles long-5 miles wide) of diverse soils (clay, gravely, volcanic), with its northernmost end on the side of Mountain Helena and its foot in San Francisco Bay. The valley is framed by two mountains ranges Vaca (to the north) and Mayacamas (to the south), yet the main climatic influence is the cool wind and fog that is sucked in from San Pablo Bay during the afternoon, allowing grapes to ripen slowly and evenly.
The area enjoys a variety of unique microclimates, as temperatures can vary dramatically as much as 15 degrees, from the north to the south end of the valley. These differences have led to the creation of several sub-AVAs (14 in total) including:
Atlas Peak, Chiles Valley District, Diamond Mountain District, Howell Mountain, Los Carneros, Mt. Veeder, Oakville, Rutherford, St. Helena, Spring Mountain District, Stags Leap District, Yountville, Wild Horse Valley and Oak Knoll District. The Calistoga AVA is still pending approval.
Both the Napa Valley designation and the sub-AVA name must appear on the wine label simultaneously, with the exception of wines from the Carneros AVA, which is shared between the Napa Valley and the Sonoma County.
Cabernet Sauvignon is the undisputed king of Napa grapes, occupying over 45% of the vineyard acreage, followed by (predominantly) Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc, Riesling, Zinfandel, Merlot, Cab. Franc and to a lesser extent Petite Sirah, Sangiovese, Barbera, Dolcetto.
Frog's Leap, Dominus, David Ramey, Viader, Stag's Leap Cellars, Paras Vineyards, Heitz.
Cabernet Sauvignon lends itself particularly well in blends with Merlot. This is actually the archetypal Bordeaux blend, though in different proportions in the sub-regions and sometimes topped up with Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and Petit Verdot.
In the Médoc and Graves the percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend can range from 95% (Mouton-Rothschild) to as low as 40%. It is particularly suited to the dry, warm, free- draining, gravel-rich soils and is responsible for the redolent cassis characteristics as well as the depth of colour, tannic structure and pronounced acidity of Médoc wines. However 100% Cabernet Sauvignon wines can be slightly hollow-tasting in the middle palate and Merlot with its generous, fleshy fruit flavours acts as a perfect foil by filling in this cavity.
In St-Emilion and Pomerol, the blends are Merlot dominated as Cabernet Sauvignon can struggle to ripen there - when it is included, it adds structure and body to the wine. Sassicaia is the most famous Bordeaux blend in Italy and has spawned many imitations, whereby the blend is now firmly established in the New World and particularly in California and Australia.