The other night I had the pleasure of opening three different vineyards of this wine: The 2011 Sonoma, the 2010 Alexander Valley and the 2010 Napa Valley. They were sent to me in celebration of the wineries 80th anniversary, which is September 19, 2013.
It was fun to taste them against each other with a ribeye steak with peppercorn, salt and savory spice glaze, roasted potatoes with the same glaze and a local salad with a vinaigrette incorporating said spices. We made sure to use the same glasses across the board as well.
The Sonoma is the lightest and least expensive of the three. It presents lovely Cab flavors. It’s good for the price, but the least interesting. They added a touch of Merlot to impart a plusher mouthfeel and a hint of Petite Sirah for its dark fruit and firm structure. The fruits on this wine are fairly jammy. It is widely available in New York; I’ve seen prices ranging from $10-$20 per bottle.
The Alexander Valley, on the other hand, was on the lighter side, but super smooth. It had (for me) the correct marriage of oak to beautiful fruit. It is well structured with focused notes of blueberry, cedar and herbs. Rye Brook Wine & Spirit Shop carries this for $19 and Leisers in Queens has it for $20. Since it is their lowest product of the three, it’s not as easily available; most stores can order it. This was definitely my favorite of the three.
Next was the Napa Valley. This was the biggest and the oak was pretty dominant. I can’t say that I – personally – liked it. It’s an expansive wine with broad flavors – very mouthfilling. It’s a more brooding wine showing a lot of dark fruit. If you are inclined in that direction, it is a lovely and well-priced example of a Napa Cab. SRP is $21 - $30.
Louis Martini is one of the oldest family-owned wineries in California. During the past 80 years, three generations of Martini sons have made the wines. Louis M. Martini founded the winery. His son, Louis P. Martini, became the winery's second winemaker in 1954. His son, Michael Martini, has had been at the helm since 1977.
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