EASTON Md., February 19, 2012 — There are just certain wines you need to try before you die and Heitz Martha’s Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon is one of them.
Heitz Vineyards just turned 50 last year, making it one of the founding fathers of the premium wine scene in Napa Valley. After a recent tasting of several of their wines, including two vintages of their Martha’s Vineyard Cab, it seems that midlife never tasted so delicious.
The United States does not have a formal classification system for its wines like the ones used in France, Italy or Spain but a movement is in the making to change that. When the Grand Cru vineyards of California are mapped out there is no doubt that Martha’s Vineyards will be among them.
Heitz Cellars, founded in 1961 by Joe and Alice Heitz, has the opportunity to vinify grapes from this exceptional vineyard through a long standing relationship with its owners, the Mays Family.
When Tom and Martha Mays moved into Napa Valley in 1963 they were left two bottles of Heitz Cellars wines by the seller as a gift. After tasting these wines they were so impressed they visited the winery and developed a relationship between the families that exist today.
Named after Martha May this certified organic vineyard is lined with eucalyptus trees. Ironically eucalyptus is an aroma that is often picked up in the Cabernet Sauvignon grown here. The gravelly soil found in the vineyard is similar to that found on the left bank of Bordeaux resulting in a wine that has a concentration of flavor balanced by the structure to age gracefully. Much investment is made in aging the wines prior to release; for three and half years in oak and then an additional one and half years in the bottle.
The 2005 Heitz Martha’s Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon retails for about $150 per bottle making in relatively inexpensive compared to a bottle of 2005 Chateau Lafite Rothschild, a first growth Bordeaux, which will cost you $1750.
Heitz Cellars is now run by the second generation David and Kathleen who are making their mark on the direction of the winery.
Heitz recently added Sauvignon Blanc to its full line-up of wines which includes Chardonnay Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon and an Italian grape Grignolino.
Tradition, heritage and new directions together make this an outstanding winery that should be on your bucket list — and your shopping list. Here’s to another 50 years of delicious wines from Heitz Cellars.
Laurie Forster, The Wine Coach®, is a wine educator, author of the award-winning book The Sipping Point and host of a weekly radio show by the same name on WBAL 1090AM. Her specialty is delivering wine edu-tainment for corporate events, group tastings and team-building seminars. She is also a sought after guest expert on radio shows across the country, including Martha Stewart Radio. You can reach her on twitter @thewinecoach or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/winecoach.
Read more of Laurie’s work at The Sipping Point in the Communities at the Washington Times.
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