The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Martha's Vineyard barely hints at eucalyptus on the nose, with much more emphasis given to black cherries and cassis. This is full-bodied and rich, nicely balancing richness and texture against linear shape and focus and picking up hints of blueberries and spice on the long, mouthwatering finish. With 112 barrels having been bottled, there's a fair bit of this wine to go around, if one can afford it.
It was big news in 2018 when Memphis-based Gaylon Lawrence Jr. purchased Heitz. Continuing to make waves, Lawrence subsequently hired Master Sommelier Carlton McCoy Jr. to be CEO of his Napa wine businesses and purchased additional Napa properties, including two other Napa wineries (Burgess, Stony Hill). The latest shockwave to drop was when Heitz announced its new $1,000 tasting experience. Fortunately, I didn't have to spend subscribers' money in order to try these wines. McCoy was recently in New York City to promote his new series on CNN, and took some time out to taste through the latest releases with me. The Cabernet Sauvignons undergo a long, cool ferment (never above 70 degrees Fahrenheit) before going into oak uprights. Then the lots are tasted to determine their future élevage, averaging about 25% new oak. The results are decidedly old-school Napa Cabernets, possessed of more streamlined palate shapes and classic structures than many contemporary valley-floor wines.