2015 Dalla Valle Maya

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Wine Critic Reviews for 2015 Dalla Valle Maya

As good as it gets, yet in a different style compared to the also perfect 2016, the 2015 Maya Proprietary Red Wine boasts a sensational, ethereal, heavenly style to go with tons of cassis and blackberry fruits intermixed with notions of dried earth, tobacco, chocolate, and a beautiful sense of minerality. This cuvée is normally a blend of 60-70% Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest Cabernet Franc, and it’s the Cabernet Franc that gives it another layer of complexity and elegance. The sexy, upfront nature of the 2015 vintage is front and center. This is a magical wine to drink over the coming 3+ decades.

Jeb Dunnuck | 100 JD
The polish and depth to this wine is extraordinary for the vintage. Full body, super refined and tight yet generous and exciting. Chocolate, walnut and berry. Goes on for minutes. Superb for the vintage. Better in 2020 but already so wonderful.

James Suckling | 98 JS
The 2015 Maya is surprisingly powerful and tightly wound. Time in the glass allows the tannins to relax just enough for the fruit to gradually emerge. Like all of the 2015s here, the Maya is still very primary in its expression of fruit. Even so, the wine's heady, flamboyant personality is very much on display. Dark cherry, plum, mocha, licorice, lavender and exotic spice overtones gradually develop in the glass, but it will be years before the 2015 enters its prime.

Antonio Galloni | 97+ AG
Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2015 Maya Proprietary Red Wine opens with sweet plums, spice box and kirsch notes with nuances of vanillin, cocoa powder, dried herbs and loam. Medium to full-bodied, soft, approachable and very sexy even at this youthful stage, it has a long, perfumed finish. This was tasted as a barrel sample.

Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 96-98 RP
A more aromatically bright iteration of Maya, with aromas of red cherry skin, gravel dust, cracked leather and potpourri. Generous and silky on the palate, where black and blue fruits dovetail with rustic, drying leather and tobacco notes. Quite showy on the finish, with beautiful purity and length. Drinking Window 2022 - 2042.

Decanter | 94 DEC
Focused, with a beam of dark currant and blackberry preserve flavors liberally lined with warm tobacco, tar and sage notes. A roasted cedar edge checks in on the finish. Gutsy, but has enough fruit to match the other earth-toned components. Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. Best from 2020 through 2032. Tasted twice, with consistent notes. 750 cases made.

Wine Spectator | 92 WS

Wine Details on 2015 Dalla Valle Maya

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Producer Dalla Valle: Sometimes dreams must die in order for new ones to take hold, grow and prosper. In the early 1980’s, Gustav and Naoko Dalla Valle moved to Napa Valley with plans to build a luxury resort and restaurant. They were introduced to a small piece of property in the rugged hills of Oakville. After discovering the major hurdles they would need to clear in order to build the resort but also the potential for growing premium grape varietals, they decided to cultivate the land and become winegrowers. They may not have dreamt that the rocky, iron-rich soils of their 20-acre estate would become the site of a Napa First Growth nor envisioned it rising to “cult” status or becoming one of California’s most sought after and iconic brands. But… dreams do come true.

Dalla Valle’s debut vintage was in 1986, which was the birth of their estate-grown Cabernet Sauvignon. It was also the year their daughter was conceived. The following year, when Maya was born, a 5-acre block of Cabernet Sauvignon was planted in her name and would become one of the most revered winegrowing sites in America. Years later, this sensational vineyard yielded the 1992 Dalla Valle Maya, which would go on to earn a 100-point score from legendary critic, Robert Parker and the estate’s first professional perfect rating.

Sadly, Gustav passed away in 1995; however, Naoko has continued to be a guiding force, quietly earning a reputation as one of Napa Valley’s most respected vintners. She is the embodiment of a hands-on owner, recognized as a passionate farmer, and firm believer that great wines are made in the vineyard. In 2017, Naoko was joined by her daughter, Maya, a gifted winemaker who learned the trade working at some of the world’s most iconic wineries. Together they have passionately continued the dream that started in 1986 with the first bottling of Dalla Valle.

The estate’s 20 acres located on the eastern hillside of Oakville at an elevation reaching 450 feet, sees a plentitude of sunshine. Constant breezes off the San Pablo Bay influence a cooler temperature allowing the grapes to retain natural acidity. The terroir is composed of mineral-rich, volcanic soils which allow the perfect amount of drainage required by the varietals of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Dalla Valle focuses on a holistic approach to vineyard health and vitality, where cover crops are grown, composting, and natural soil additives are employed.

Dalla Valle produces three main wines; Cabernet Sauvignon, Maya, and Collina. The Collina is the newest offering and is blended from the estates youngest vines. It is quite approachable upon release but much like the rest of the line-up can be enjoyed for up to a decade or longer. The Cabernet Sauvignon and the original bottling from the estate generally contain at least 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot and is sourced from the best blocks. The signature blend of Maya is nearly half Cabernet Sauvignon, half Cabernet Franc but varies on the vintage. The Cabernet is sourced from the “Maya” block which consistently produces the most compelling wine on the estate. It is one of the longest lived wines from California and can take over a decade before starting to express its full character.

A mere 3,000 cases are produced annually for the entire portfolio of Dalla Valle wines which are reserved for sale through a private mailing list only. When and if these wines reach the market, they are quickly procured by enthusiasts who typically keep an eye out for them.
Region California: With a history of wine production that dates back to the 18th century, California currently sits as one of the world's most prolific and reputable wine regions. With an area as vast as California, you can expect a colorful collage of terroir profiles, a series of microclimates, and micro-environments that give the wine a unique, memorable appeal. The region's produce is far from homogenized in that sense, and it would take you countless hours to sample all of it. While the region boasts scars from the Prohibition era, it went through what can only be described as a viticultural Renaissance sometime after the 1960s. At that point, California went from a port-style, sweet wine region to a versatile and compelling competitor on the world market. Today, no matter which way your taste in wine leans, you can find a new favorite producer among California's most talented.

Notable sub-regions include legendary names like Napa Valley and Sonoma County, places that any wine lover would die to visit. California's quintessential warm climate allows for incredibly ripe fruit expressions, a style that provides a stark contrast to Old World-inspired, earthy classics. Even where inspiration was clearly taken from staple French appellations, Californian winemakers put their own unique spin on the wine.
Country US: As one of the most prolific and innovative wine regions in the world, America is a joy to explore. Most wine connoisseurs will agree that the nation's finest and most compelling wines are being produced today, which means that we have front-row seats to one of the most inspirational stories in wine history. While other regions tend to focus on specific wine styles and have somewhat strict rules as to which varietals you could grow, areas like California have few such restrictions in place. As a result, creative visionaries behind America's most reputable estates have been able to develop compelling, unique, and innovative styles, with a level of terroir expression that rivals even France's largest giants.
Type of Wine California Red: Whether it's Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah or Zinfandel, Californian red wine producers have a lovely habit of taking a varietal and expressing its essence in a unique, never before seen way. From Napa Valley to the regions south of Los Angeles, there's a red for everyone - and it's never too late to start exploring.
Varietal Proprietary Blend: Proprietary Blend is a general term used to indicate that a wine is comprised of multiple grape varietals which are either “proprietary” to the winery or is blended and does not meet the required maximum or minimum percentage of a particular varietal. This also is the case for the grape’s place of origin, especially for region, appellation or vineyard designated wines. There are endless examples of blended wines which are labeled as “Proprietary Blend” and in conjunction with each region’s stipulated wine laws and regulations makes for a vast blanket for wines to fall into. Perhaps the simplest example is California; if a wine is to be labeled as Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, it is required to have at least 75% of the varietal (Cabernet Sauvignon) and 85% of the fruit must be cultivated from the Napa Valley wine district. If the wine does not meet the requirements, it is then labeled as Proprietary Blend.

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