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A 100 point Martha's Vineyard...
03 July 2020

Heitz Cellars is a Napa Icon. In the 61 years since their first vintage Heitz has cemented itself as one of the valley’s true gems, a winery with a style that is entirely its own, producing wines that speak of a bygone era and the birth of Napa’s wine scene. From the off, Joe Heitz pioneered both site selection, and a method of producing great Cabernet Sauvignon that was both iconoclastic and truly individual. A full year in 1000 gallon American oak vats, follows three years in French barriques, allowing the wines to gain a unique sense of transparency and aromatic elegance. Curiously, they eschew malo-lactic fermentation – a feature which truly sets them apart, but one which gives rise to wines of exceptional freshness, with wonderfully savoury overtones, and the necessary acidity to last for decades. Legendary bottles like Martha’s Vineyard 1974, 1975 and 1978 regularly sit atop truly discerning drinkers’ desert island wine selections – to this day, possessing an extraordinary sense of life and lift, not to mention Martha’s signature minty eucalyptus notes. With today’s release of the 2014s, the Wine Enthusiast 100 point scoring Martha’s Vineyard and 96 point Trailside, perhaps we’re in the presence of future icons. They certainly look set to live for decades.

It is worth noting that Virginie Boone, the Wine Enthusiast’s Californian reviewer since 2011, has never awarded 100 points to any wine before Martha’s 2014. Tasting it blind she remarked, “Something was different during a tasting last December. The stars aligned. The angels sang. My senses took over and didn’t allow my brain to overthink…. There was something about the 2014 Heitz Cellars Martha’s Vineyard that spoke repeatedly to me over several tries in the blind flight. Of course, I observed the aromas, the texture, flavor and balance. Of course, I tasted its complexity and structure, the beauty, the length, the longing for more. It inspired the confounding curiosity of just how fermented grapes can achieve such grace. It wasn’t flashy, or overly engineered. It wasn’t a wine that hits you over the head, nor fades away. It tasted of history. Of substance. Of place.”

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