87% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Cabernet Franc, 3% Petite Sirah and 4% other from Napa Valley, California.
SRP of $25 and available for as low as $17. Sample received courtesy E. & J. Gallo for review purposes.
From the bottle:
"Louis M. Martini built his winery in the Napa Valley in 1933. His passion was Cabernet Sauvignon. Martini planted and acquired top Cabernet Sauvignon vineyards throughout Napa and Sonoma counties to pursue his passion. Today, winemaker Michael Martini continues his grandfather's tradition of crafting rich, complex and beautifully structured wines.
This wine presents inviting aromas of cassis, sweet herbs, and hints of pipe tobacco. On the palate, it exhibits a firm structure and intriguing flavors of ripe black cherries, deep, briary red fruits, and old-world complexities that linger through a memorable finish.
The Louis M. Martini winery has been making Cabernet in California for over 75 years and in that time they've gotten pretty good at it. This is the third Cabernet we've sampled from their line, and price-wise it falls between the Sonoma County ("A Sure Bet") and the Alexander Valley Cabernet ("Darn Good"). Typical of many single varietal wines, today's Cabernet also adds in some small amounts of other grapes. (Remember only 75% of one grape is needed to be labeled as a single variety.) But the real question is: How does it taste?
The 2008 Louis M. Martini Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon begins with very nice aromas of blackberry, licorice, clove, cinnamon and cedar. Tasting the wine reveals a good deal of oak -- you'll want to give this wine some time to breathe. Once it has time in the glass this wine is quite good. There's still plenty of oak but blackberry, plum, and licorice become much more apparent and the oak reveals itself as pleasant cedar, caramel and spice that add to the wine rather than overwhelm it. The blackberry flavors continue all the way to the finish and are followed by some lingering tobacco notes. If you like a good amount of oak influence in your wine this one will be right up your alley!
See a listing of local retailers selling this wine here.