How about a Martini?

Dusty and dirty, pigeon-holed slightly below BV Ruth and slightly above Coppola Claret, this stalwart wine shrinks on supermarket shelves, though part of a once-proud heritage. I’ve tasted a number of these wines a 20… 30.. or even 40 years of age, and while the formula has changed away from those early shrill finesses–which show NO appreciation for the 99 at an early age–this little baby at 15 has some serious chops. A stellar vintage no doubt helps, but these wines don’t vary *that* much year-to-year in modernity. I still think the Alex hits harder and ages better, but no one can sell Sonoma wine.

Bloody garnet in the glass. Hazy sediment. A nose boiled down into tapanade and maraschino, the fruit a composty vegetal held to the flame, the sultry, savory tertiary glowing hard on all fronts. Tanned leather and Borkum Riff brushes off dirty aged nuances, the drop mired in muddy mineral and soggy black peat. Cinnamon and nutmeg prevail, sharpening and lightening the tired, plodding load.

Tasting it shows a wine lacking in bright fruit the early-risers demand, instead expressing complications those with open minds embrace. The cherry a black, concentrated affair, edged with an acid controlling the mouth-feel at this juncture. Cracked black peppery goodness prepares the palate for drying texture, and I’m feeling like the alcohol *might* have been a bit high on this one: something we learn to expect on VINTAGES OF THE DECADE. It’s beautiful. It’s showing fatigue. It’s also something I am going to FINISH tonight. Lord knows it will be drain-food in the morning. Mustiness being temporarily held-at-bay by still-shocking acid, allowing generous ripeness to exist. But tannin is the boss here–gentle as it was (probably) on release, and fruit doing its last bows.

2007 LOUIS M. MARTINI Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 14.5

www.louismartini.com/

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