Martin Estate2003 Cabernet Sauvignon, Estate
(Rutherford ~ Napa Valley)
This is the “regular” Cabernet bottling of antique gun and armor dealer Greg Martin. As opposed to his reserve, at $70, it’s the “bargain” of the two (the “Collector’s Reserve” sells for $110). Secondly, and perhaps even more important, is that the estate wine really shows the place from where the grapes originated.
The estate Cabernet Sauvignon, while not as big or as potentially long-lived as the reserve, nevertheless has minerality, earthiness and some tar notes, which speak to me of Rutherford floor. It’s also a tighter wine than its big brother and seems to possess more acidity, which for me, makes it the better wine to pair with food.
The grapes, from Martin’s 7 ½-acre vineyard near the Conn Creek, were fermented in French oak casks and the wine was aged in a blend of 75% French and 25% American cooperage, 50% of which was new. The listed alcohol is 14.8 percent and there were less than 1,500 cases made by winemaker Jef Stebben.
Reviewed November 22, 2006 by Alan Goldfarb.
Alan Goldfarb has been writing about and reviewing wine for 17 years. His reviews have been published in the St. Helena Star, San Jose Mercury, San Francisco Examiner, Decanter, and Wine Enthusiast, among others. Not once has he used a point system, star system, or an iconic symbol to quantify a wine. What counts in Mr. Goldfarb’s criteria when judging a wine is: how it tastes in the glass; is it well-constructed; its food compatibility; and presence of redeeming regional attributes.