2014 Louis M. Martini Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
One of the best values in Cabernet Sauvignon anywhere in the world remains Louis Martini’s Sonoma Cabernet Sauvignon. The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Sonoma County (89% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Merlot and the rest Petite Sirah, Cabernet Franc and other varieties) is just a beautiful wine. Dense ruby/purple with classic tobacco leaf, blackcurrant, loamy soil notes and a touch of wood spice, this wine (aged 16 months in French and American oak) has relatively modest alcohol for Cabernets these days (13.5%), and what’s even more remarkable is that there are 408,000 cases. The wine has the suppleness and upfront charm to be drunk now, but don’t discount the ability of this wine to hold onto life and last, without losing its fruit, for another 7-10+ years. It is a great value. It is hard to believe that the iconic Louis M. Martini Winery first made Napa Cabernet Sauvignon in 1933. Louis Martini is long gone, but he played a significant role in establishing Napa and Sonoma valleys as premium grape-growing regions. His family has carried on and more recently benefitted from the influx of significant investment from the new owners - the Gallos. (RP)
Napa Valley-based Louis M. Martini has always had a focus on Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon, not least because Mr. Martini himself developed the Monte Rosso vineyard there in the 1930s. This county-wide blend, which Robert Parker Jr. has called "always one of the best buys in Cabernet Sauvignon" (Wine Advocate, 10/2014), is generally a blend of Dry Creek Valley vineyards like Frei Ranch with Alexander Valley fruit.