One of the benefits of working in Napa Valley is the serendipitous ways that great wines find their way into the cellars of wine collectors or into the mouths of persistent sommeliers. Maze is a story of just such a happenstance. We have a pretty fun relationship with the people we work with in Napa. We get together to eat, cook, drink and relax with them when we are not working to produce a new vintage. On a recent trip to Napa, we met for drinks with our natural cork supplier, our friend and fellow lover of Champagne, Vichheka. After sharing a few amazing bottles of Champagne, she told us that she had recently broken up with her winemaking boyfriend, but she had remained close with his dad, Gerry, who owned the winery (which is called Maze). She told us that Gerry's production at Maze was tiny, and that he wanted to make sure his wines made it into hands of wine lovers, instead of sitting on the store shelf somewhere collecting dust next to thousands of other bottles. Gerry also is a major foodie, and Vichekka thought he would love the idea of his wines being introduced to wine lovers by the Foodie/Chef/Sommelier team at Nice Winery.
The next night she gave us samples of the wines to take back to Texas so that we could "audition" them with our tasting panel. The wines were amazing. What Vichekka had not told us was that Gerry and his son Paul had hired superstar winemaker Mark Herold to craft the wines for them. Herold, who co-founded Merus in 1998, quickly became one of Napa Valley’s rising stars among Cabernet producers. The eight released vintages of Merus all scored in the outstanding ranges. Mark’s extraordinary skills and knowledge show in the nose and on the palate of Maze wines. These are very well made wines. Maze uses only the finest fruit, from the very best vineyards in the Napa Valley, and uses only 100% French Oak barrels for their Cabernet. Harold's description of the wine will have your mouth watering, and it is right on point.
"Inky and deep purple upon first inspection, black penetrating aromas burst from the glass with blackberries, rhubarb, blackcurrant, cassis, and anise backed up with rich notes of chocolate, tea leaf and spiced piecrust. An interesting mix of bramble, sage, crushed dried flowers, and suede add layers and dimension leading to a full rich, plush mouth-feel. A seamless entry of sweet powerful fruit flavors accompanied by smooth, supple tannins lead to a long lingering finish." We recommend decanting this wine very slowly because it has A TON OF AWESOME SEDIMENT that you will find on the cork and in the bottle.This is a hallmark of an unfiltered wine. DO NOT FEAR THE SEDIMENT, IT IS A GOOD THING! This wine is best enjoyed after 30 minutes to one hour of decanting. Drink now through 2025 with big game meats or a well marbled steak. This wine is huge!