1974 Heitz Cellar "Martha's Vineyard" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

SKU #1024578 98 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 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)  (8/1994)

K&L Notes

96 Points John Gilman: "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+." (Tasted 2004) ("Celebrating Fifty Years of Napa Valley Excellence" The View from the Cellar, Heitz Wine Cellars 6/2011. pg 33-34.)

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Varietal:

Cabernet Sauvignon and Blends

- Cabernet Sauvignon has come a long way from its role as a blending varietal, however dominant, in the wines of Bordeaux. Today it is the most planted red varietal in the world. Identified as a descendent of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc, the late-ripening Cabernet Sauvignon needs to be planted in warmer climates to fully ripen. Its small berries can easily be identified for their distinctive blue color, thick skins and high tannins. And while the varietal has its own definitive characteristics: green pepper-like aromas and black currant flavors among them, it is perhaps most prized for its ability to convey terroir, vintage and winemaking. A relatively new varietal, Cabernet Sauvignon started making inroads into the wines of the Médoc and Graves in the late-18th century. Today it is also dominant in the up-and-coming Entre-Deux-Mers region of Bordeaux and can also be found in Southwest France. It is the companion varietal to Sangiovese in Italy's Super Tuscans and is planted all over Europe, stretching to lesser-known winegrowing regions like Russia and Lebanon. In the Americas Cabernet Sauvignon has found champions in every nook and cranny of California and among winemakers in Washington, where it complements plantings of Merlot. In South America, Cab thrives in Chile, but can also be found in smaller amounts in Argentina and even in Mexico.
Country:

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world. Click for a list of bestselling items from the United States.
Sub-Region:

California

- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year. For our entire selection of California wines, please visit this link.
Specific Appellation:

Napa Valley

- America's most famous wine region, which encompasses a varied geographical territory running about 20 miles long from the San Francisco Bay northward to the foot of Mount St. Helena. Napa's great diversity, both in terms of climate and terroir, has led to the creation of a number of smaller AVAs like Stags Leap District, Rutherford, Howell Mountain, Oakville and Mount Veeder, among others. Cabernet and chardonnay still reign supreme, but just about everything under the sun is grown in Napa Valley, in quality levels ranging from $2 jug wine to $500 a bottle California cab.
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