Not surprisingly, the 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon Martha's Vineyard is the least expressive of these wines. At the same time, so much of its appeal is in its tightly-coiled energy and tension. Cherry pit, smoke, blood orange, mint and spice open up with time in the glass, but the 2010 is clearly built for cellaring. The wine's brightness and focus are compelling, but the 2010 needs time. (AG)
One of Napa Valley's classics, Martha's Vineyard is a legendary site in west Oakville at the foot of the Mayacamas Mountains. Heitz's 2010 rendition opens up with fragrant black fruit, mint chocolate and rich soil tones, revealing supple, layered tannins and bright acidity on the palate. Like all the Heitz wines, this is unmistakably fresh and savoury. Drink 2020-2050. (WK)
The 2010 Martha’s Vineyard bottling of cabernet sauvignon from the Heitz family is still a very young and primary bottle in the making, but it seems likely to be outstanding with a decade’s worth of bottle age. The bouquet is very deep and fairly ripe, offering up a fine mélange of black cherries, cigar wrapper, incipient notes of Rutherford Dust, a touch of clove, a superb base of soil tones, woodsmoke, a very faint presage of eucalyptus and a suave base of new wood. The customary mintiness of Martha’s Vineyard is not yet in evidence in the 2010. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and youthful, with a core of ripe fruit, firm, well-integrated tannins, tangy acids and a long, nascently complex and very well-balanced finish. At 14.5 percent octane, this too has just trace elements of heat on the backend today, but I expect these will fully dissipate as the wine has a chance to blossom with bottle age. It is a very promising and classic vintage of Martha’s Vineyard and the only missing ingredient here is the passage of time! Drink between 2023-2065.
Violets and blue fruits. Thai mint and basil. Full-bodied, very tight and long. Tangy and beautiful. Tight and fresh acidity. Beautiful and so drinkable. From organic grapes. Drink now or hold.
The remarkable aspect of this wine is its texture and weight, its flavors complete and fully concentrated into something as ephemeral as the brush of a silk scarf. It’s a gracious cabernet, sunny but not sweet - distinctly savory in the way its tannins cool the bright red fruit. This vineyard tucked into the western benchlands of Oakville benefits from the cooler morning sun, the vines organically farmed on alluvial gravels by the May family. Whatever eucalyptus influence there may be from the trees surrounding the vines reads in this vintage as green olive and black licorice rather than mintiness. As W&S senior editor Luke Sykora pointed out, 'This has a gentle firmness, what people initially liked about Napa Valley cabernet in the 1950s and ’60s.'
The mighty Martha's spends three-and-a-half years aging in French Limousin oak barrels. It has years to go, its structure so expertly captured in the bottle, yet still willing to impart a lightness of sage and sarsaparilla, the tannins firm and integrated, with slight hints of cigar, coconut and that ever-famous mint. Drink now through 2025. *Cellar Selection* (VB)
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