2010 Heitz Cellar "Martha's Vineyard" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
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)
Wine & Spirits
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.” (2,150 cases)
*** Cellar Selection *** 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. (VB)
Lightly aromatic, with savory herb and bay leaf flavors, this is sleek and texturally elegant, presenting an appealing if modest array of mint- and mocha-scented currant. The tannins are supple and easygoing, making this easy to enjoy now. Drink now through 2025. 2,154 cases made. (JL, Web-2016)
Martha's Vineyard is certinaly one of the most important Napa Valley bottlings over the last half century, and is one of the last wines to be released from any given vintage. The CCOF organically certified vineyard in Oakville has been the flagship bottling of Heitz since 1966. From the winery: "A great success in a challenging year, this wine is a true testament to the vitality of Martha's Vineyard itself. A very inviting wine with rich aromas of boysenberry, cassis and mint all tightly woven around a sweet core. On the palate this Cabernet is firm with rich, savory notes of cigar box and chocolate, culminating in a silky finish. A compelling and flavorful wine. As always, this release will reward patient cellaring."