Louis M. Martini Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

Dark burgundy color; dark cherry, dark fruits, spice on the nose; black cherry, blackberry, graphite, herb on the palate.

Nicely rich and concentrated; fruit forward—82% cabernet sauvignon, 11% petite sirah, 5% petit verdot, 2% merlot—with the 18% non-cab grapes noticeable in the palette of flavors pleasuring your palate. Significant oak, as you expect from mainstream Napa cab, but not over-the-top; 18 months in French and American barrels (30% new, 70% used) with medium-to-heavy toast. Nice tannins, with the cab tannin held in check by the polite’s petite sirah and petit verdot bashful tannin. Evolves to velvety on the finish after some air; good acidity for this kind of big red (3.53 pH).

Louis M. Martini is a big-production winery that consistently delivers and often over-delivers. The winery was founded in 1933 by Louis M. Martini. The Martini family’s grape legacy goes back to 1911, when Louis M. made wine in a rented facility. During Prohibition, Louis M. produced sacramental and medicinal wine, as well as grape concentrate for legal in-home winemaking. The L.M. Martini Grape Products Company came to Napa in 1933 as one of the original five Napa post-Prohibition wineries. Martini added acreage in Sonoma’s Mayacama Mountains in 1938. In more recent times, it was led by third-generation vintner Mike Martini

The Martini family owned and innovated until 2002, when the Gallo family purchased the winery and vineyards, but kept Martini personnel, including grandson Mike, in the mix. The result is a range of superb wines rooted in two iconic Italian family traditions.

With this bottling, Michael Eddy takes over operations after Mike Martini’s retirement. Eddy celebrates his decade of learning from and working with Mike Martini. Ascendant in the Gallo group, Eddy oversees production at Louis M. Martini, William Hill Estate Winery, and Gallo of Sonoma. He also collaborates with Gina Gallo on the Gallo Signature Series. The torch has been passed.

Louis M. Martini Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 is a rich, delicious, classic Napa cab that benefits with time in large glass or decanter. $38

Louis M. Martini website

Other photos: Louis M. Martini tasting room, winemaker Michael Eddy.

Louis M. Martini Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2013
Louis M. Martini tasting room
winemaker Michael Eddy