1984 Heitz Cellar "Martha's Vineyard" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

SKU #900111 94 points John Gilman

 The 1984 Martha’s Vineyard has always lived a bit in the shadow of the 1985, whose reputation was already blossoming before either it or the 1984 were released. Nevertheless, I have always been a very big fan of this vintage of Martha’s, and the recent bottle was a stunning wine. This is still relatively young and will continue to improve with further bottle age, but offers up a very deep and absolutely classic bouquet of red and black cherries, fresh mint, a deep base of soil tones, eucalyptus, incipient notes of nutskin, woodsmoke and the first stirring of chipotle pepper in the upper register. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and still a tad closed, with a great core of fruit, beautiful focus and balance, moderate, ripe tannins and stunning length and grip on the classy finish. A superb vintage of Martha’s Vineyard, the 1984 really should still be given a bit more bottle age before broaching it in earnest. Drink between 2017-2075. 94+  (6/2011)

92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 With coaxing, a surprisingly tight bouquet offers up damp, woodsy aromas intermixed with scents of mint and ripe cassis. Full-bodied, firm, and admirably concentrated, with a wonderful layered palate, this impressively-endowed wine requires another 4-5 years of cellaring. (RP)  (8/1994)

92 points Wine Spectator

 Dark ruby-garnet color. Complex aromas of ripe currant, mint, chocolate and black cherry, this is in pristine drinking condition, offering touches of mature Cabernet flavors while still retaining some youthful fresh fruit flavors. Excellent balance, depth and richness, with ripe tannins and fruit dominating the aftertaste. (JL, Web Only-2004)

K&L Notes

Heitz Cellar has earned its reputation as one of the Napa Valley's best producers by making quality, ageworthy wines for decades. Stephen Brook: "Joe Heitz was not a man to move with the times. He tank-fermented his Chardonnay and blocked malolactic fermentation. He stayed loyal to the Grignolino rosé he had made as a young man, and he even made a Port-style wine from the variety. He aged his Cabernet, and some of the Chardonnay in Limousin oak - a practice that is continued to this day. He bought Limousin barrels because he disliked American oak, and the range of French oak in the 1960s was limited. I once asked Joe Heitz why he had stuck to a wood that most winemakers disliked, and he replied, 'In the beginning, we used what we had and it worked. Why should we change just because other people are sheep?' Joe Heitz was no diplomat." (The Finest Wines of California: A Regional Guide to the Best Producers and Their Wines, pg 152-3)

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Price: $239.99
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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.

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.


- 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.
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.