1983 Heitz Cellar "Martha's Vineyard" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Rich and concentrated with mint, chocolate and berry flavors that are full bodied and nicely balanced. There's enough oak and tannins for backbone. The flavors are long and full on the finish.
In a retrospective tasting for a special article on Heitz Wine Cellars in 2011, John Gilman thought that the venerable 1983 Martha's still merited 91 points: "1983 was a very difficult year for North Coast Cabernets and the ’83 Martha’s Vineyard certainly shows a much 'cooler vintage' profile on both the nose and palate. The deep and complex bouquet offers up scents of cassis, chipotle peppers, cherries, a touch of cigar ash, lavender, mint and a lovely base of soil. On the palate the wine is deep, fullish and just a touch sinewy, but with a lovely core of fruit, fine focus, impressive complexity and a very long, tangy and perfectly balanced finish. This is not a classic vintage of Martha’s Vineyard (it is much more black fruity in profile than most vintages), but it remains a beautiful bottle of Cabernet that is now fully mature and shows every indication of drinking at this high level for several decades to come. A very successful 1983. 2011-2040." ("Celebrating Fifty Years of Napa Valley Excellence," The View from the Cellar, 6/2011)