The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Martha's Vineyard barely hints at eucalyptus on the nose with much more emphasis given to black cherries and cassis. This is full-bodied and rich nicely balancing richness and texture against linear shape and focus and picking up hints of blueberries and spice on the long mouthwatering finish. With 112 barrels having been bottled there's a fair bit of this wine to go around if one can afford it. It was big news in 2018 when Memphis-based Gaylon Lawrence Jr. purchased Heitz. Continuing to make waves Lawrence subsequently hired Master Sommelier Carlton McCoy Jr. to be CEO of his Napa wine businesses and purchased additional Napa properties including two other Napa wineries (Burgess Stony Hill). The latest shockwave to drop was when Heitz announced its new $1000 tasting experience. Fortunately I didn't have to spend subscribers' money in order to try these wines. McCoy was recently in New York City to promote his new series on CNN and took some time out to taste through the latest releases with me. The Cabernet Sauvignons undergo a long cool ferment (never above 70 degrees Fahrenheit) before going into oak uprights. Then the lots are tasted to determine their future élevage averaging about 25% new oak. The results are decidedly old-school Napa Cabernets possessed of more streamlined palate shapes and classic structures than many contemporary valley-floor wines.
#3 Top 100 of 2021 This throws off an overt and alluring mint aroma while sweet bay leaf violet damson plum red tea and steeped griotte notes all glide through together carried by remarkably fine-grained tannins. Ends with a gentle echo of mint on the finish while a subtle minerality chimes through as well. A stylish and suave wine with plenty of charm now but also pristine balance for cellaring. Best from 2022 through 2038. 2500 cases made.