Heitz Cellars Martha's Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon
100 Points (Wine Enthusiast)
The nose expresses the classic characteristics we love from this site; notes of bay leaf, mint, anise, and dark chocolate are complemented by sweet black fruit, fresh red plum, and a touch of warm vanilla from our Limousin Oak aging program. Although 2014 was historically and earlier vintage, the microclimate of Martha’s Vineyard allowed the fruit to hang for the right amount of time on the vine to reach perfect phenolic ripeness. The smooth and classic structure is a result of softening over time with 3 full years of aging in new French oak. We are thrilled to share this wine that is a pleasure to drink upon release but will reward those connoisseurs with the patience to lay this bottle down for 10+ years.
In the mid 1960’s, an agreement was made between Joe Heitz and Tom May to source the cabernet sauvignon fruit from May’s small Oakville vineyard for Heitz wines. Ever since 1966, Heitz Cellar has been crafting the now illustrious Martha’s Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, one of our three vineyard-designated Cabernet Sauvignons.
100% Cabernet Sauvignon, farmed sustainably and certified organic by CCOF and Certified Fish Friendly Farming.
The exclusive cabernet “Martha’s Clone” is known for producing small berries with an intensely purple hue, deeply concentrated flavor and a distinctive minty aroma. During aging, only the best barrels from the vineyard are selected and bottled as our Martha’s Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon. Spending a year in neutral oak tanks after fermentation, the wine is allowed to settle and refine itself. Next, it is barreled down to hand-selected, 100% new French Limousin oak wide-grain barrels, allowing a slow and gentle integration of the toast and vanilla characteristics from the barrel to marry with the wine. Three years later, Martha’s Vineyard Cabernet is ready to bottle whereupon it continues to mature gracefully for another full year before being released from the cellar. A wine full of balance and unique, almost mysterious qualities, Martha’s Vineyard is our flagship wine and a true Napa Valley icon.
Tucked against the Mayacamas mountains in the celebrated Oakville AVA, with fertile, well-drained soil and afternoon shade, this superior site is home to the unique proprietary cabernet clone which has brought this vineyard legendary status.
“Standing in Martha’s Vineyard, you quickly realize why this site consistently produces a remarkable Cabernet Sauvignon. The vineyard receives gentle morning and early afternoon sunlight and is sheltered from the heat of the late afternoon sun by the mountains. This allows for longer hang time and Martha’s Vineyard is, historically, one of the last vineyards we pick. This ability to leave the fruit on the vine longer than other sites allows for concentration of flavor and softening of tannin to produce a wine so pure in its expression of place. The consistency in showcasing Martha’s Vineyard’s unique mint, bay leaf, dark berry and chocolate notes year after year is a reminder of why this vineyard has commanded a faithful following since the 1966 vintage.” – Brittany Sherwood, Winemaker