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2001 Heitz Martha’s Vineyard

A fun way for a wine lover to celebrate an anniversary of any kind is to crack open a bottle from that respective year.  My husband and I did just that to celebrate our wedding anniversary last month.  We were married in 2001, so we selected a 2001 Heitz Cabernet Sauvignon from Martha’s Vineyard.

The 1970 vintage of this wine was one of the wines in the famous 1976 Paris tasting, where California wines went up against French wines and won!  Although the Heitz didn’t win the overall ratings in Paris that day, one French judge did pick it number one and another French judge picked it number two over many wonderful red wines, including some first growth Bordeaux.

I was surprised at how youthful this wine still is, both in appearance and taste.  It still has a bright ruby color, with very little change of color at the rim.  The nose is vibrant with licorice, crème de cassis and earth.  I got a touch of eucalyptus, which is a trademark of this well-respected vineyard.  On the palate the fruit still shines!  I was pleasantly surprised by the brightness of the black currant and cherry.  The tannins are oh so smooth, but still present enough to hold up to some serious food.  I also tasted some wet earth and mocha, and the finish is nice and long.  I love that this is a California wine that doesn’t try to be BIG and over-stated, but instead lets its lovely depth and earthiness shine through.  It is proof that a California Cab can show fabulous terroir.

I am very confident that my husband and I will be able to enjoy this wine for anniversaries to come as well, as it shows no signs of slowing down.

The next time you’re in Napa, be sure to stop at the Heitz Cellars tasting room.  They provide a lovely tasting of some of their top wines.  They are also one of the few wineries in Napa who don’t charge a tasting fee.  Perhaps that is because it seems impossible to leave without making a purchase.  No pressure is needed!  Check them out at:


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