My travels last week took me to the San Francisco area so I made a quick detour to Sonoma for a day of tasting that  included a stop by the Mayo Family Winery Reserve Tasting Room.  Mayo founded by Henry & Diane Mayo in 1990 and focuses on producing small lots of single vineyard wines.   

mayo-1The reserve tasting included a bite-size, seven-course pairing menu matched with seven Mayo Family wines for $35.   Unfortunately I did not take detailed notes of the food that was paired with each of the wines. 

2003 Brut Sparkling, Laurel Hill Vineyard, Sonoma Valley

$35/bottle.  Produced with grapes from the Mayo estate vineyard.  Very tasty sparkler.  Salmon color with aromas of strawberry, peach and toast. 

2006 Chardonnay, Laurel Hill Vineyard, Sonoma  Valley,

Not sure what to make of this one.  Very benign.  Other than slight hints of basic citrus on the nose, I found this wine somewhat watered down.  A pass for me.

mayo-22006 Syrah, Page-Nord Vineyard, Napa Valley

$40/bottle.  14.9% alcohol.  Ruby in color.  On the nose I found currant, earth and pepper.  Surprised to find this one a bit ‘hot’ in the mouth which over shadowed the dark berry and pepper components.

2006 Zinfandel. Ricci Vineyard, Russian River Valley, “Old Vine Reserve”

$50/bottle.  15.8% alcohol.  Big nose of blueberry jam, blackberry, pepper and earth.  Very well balanced in the mouth with firm tannins that were complimented by blueberry jam, pepper and over ripe strawberry.  Lenghty blueberry finish.  My favorite of the tasting.  Took home a couple of bottles.

2005 Cabernet Sauvignon, Random Ridge Vineyard, Napa Valley

$50/bottle.   Dark garnet color.  Dark currant, cassis and blackberry on the nose.  Big ol tannins – needed more time to open up.  Cassis and dark fruit in the mouth. 

2006 Pinot Noir, La Cruz Vineyard, Sonoma Coast, “Pommard Clone”

$50/bottle.  14% alcohol.  Ruby color.  On the nose I found cherry, raspberry, spice and hints of strawberry.  I liked the finish on this one – lots of cherry in the mouth which continued well in to the finish.

2006 ZinFandel Port, Ricci Vineyard, Russian River Valley, “Old Vine”

$35/bottle.  18.5% alcohol.  This paired with a chocolate Grenache sort of thingie.  Very excellent.  I am not a big fan of port, but this particular port was excellent!  Dark purple color.  Baked blackberry, fig and plum on the nose followed by hints of warm caramel.  Candied plum, maple syrup and a Grand Marnier component in the mouth.

I have come to appreciate wineries that have made the investment to provide a high-quality tasting experience by pairing their wines with food.  I definitely recommend Mayo for a great tasting experience.