Cabernet Sauvignon Martha's Vineyard, Heitz 1997

SubregionNapa Valley

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Tasting Notes

There have only been three vintages in the history of the Martha’s Vineyard bottling that have been given unique labels by the winery: the 1974, 1985 and 1997. When I asked Kathleen Heitz Myers about this, she said that the special labels were selected to denote vintages of absolutely extraordinary character. The 1997, which was only the second vintage to be produced from the replanted vineyard, is indeed a brilliant young vintage of Martha’s, as it soars from the glass in a deep and youthfully beautiful blend of black cherries, cassis, saddle leather, woodsmoke, gentle notes of eucalyptus and still a touch of cedary oak spice. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, pure and rock solid at the core, with ripe tannins, excellent focus and outstanding length and grip on the perfectly poised finish. A tad less ripe than some of the recent vintages, the 1997 Martha’s tips the scales at 14.3 percent alcohol and seems likely to be one of the all-time classics in the history of this bottling. (Drink between 2020-2075)

Score: 97John Gilman, View From the Cellar (33), May 2011

A deep, intense wine, the 1997 Cabernet Sauvignon Martha's Vineyard is rich and beautifully layered, with sweeping stature. Dark red cherry, crushed flowers, mint and spice fill out in the glass. At eighteen years of age, the 1997 tastes more like a ten year-old wine! There is no shortage of personality here, but readers need to give the 1997 at least another few years to allow some of the baby fat to melt off. This incredibly youthful Cabernet Sauvignon will drink well for another few decades.

Score: 95Antonio Galloni,, October 2015

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