I had this wine twice over a period of thirty days, rating it an astounding 99 and 98 points. A monumental California Cabernet Sauvignon, it appears to have approached its plateau of maturity but should easily last for 20-25 more years. There is no rust, amber, or brown to the saturated dark purple color. The spectacular, huge, Mouton-Rothschild-like nose of mint, cassis, lead pencil, and toast is remarkably youthful. Staggeringly concentrated, this full-bodied, super-rich wine possesses moderate tannin, fresh, lively acidity, and a blockbuster, rich, fleshy finish. This is a monumental effort! (RP)
I have had the good fortune to taste the 1974 Heitz Martha’s Vineyard on a number of occasions over the years, and this wine has always been outstanding. When I first crossed paths with this wine back in the late 1980s, it was so marked by its mintiness and eucalyptus tones as to be immediately identifiable in blind tastings. However, as the years have gone by, the wine has gained nuance and complexity, and is now a stunning aromatic package of eucalyptus, cherries, spit-roasted venison, coffee, earth and vanillin oak. There was just a whiff of volatile acidity in this particular bottle that elevates the aromatics and adds to the complexity. On the palate the wine is full-bodied and heroically proportioned, with great inner mouth complexity for a California cabernet, a lush core of fruit, and tremendous length and grip on the very long, meltingly tannic and complex finish. I would be very surprised to not still see the ’74 Martha’s Vineyard still drinking well twenty years from now. A brilliant wine. 2004-2020+
On my recent trip to California, however, one of the most memorable wines - despite all those Cheval Blancs and Yquems - was a bottle of that classic Heitz Cellars, Martha’s Vineyard 1974 Napa Valley served blind. Complete and completely stunning still. All California Cab sceptics should taste this.
Deep garnet, openly spicy, with fresh mint, currant, cedar and anise flavors that are rich and concentrated, firm and complex. this is aging well, though a shade past its prime, finishing with a trace of oxidation and hint of nuttiness. Nonetheless, still alive and well; just mature. (JL, Web Only-2004)
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