Today’s post has been brought to you by Louis M. Martini Winery. All opinions expressed are my own. The follow message is intended for those 21+. Please enjoy responsibly.
The Where – Napa Valley, California, USA
Despite only having produced wine commercially since the 19th century, Napa has become one of world’s premier wine regions, while California as whole has come to produce more than 84% of all American wine, while all but monopolizing America’s premier wine producing talent.
I’ve had Napa described to me – rightly or wrongly – as “Combine the best terroirs of Greece and Argentina, and you have an idea of what makes wine production in Napa such a delight.” However, given how Greek wine toils in relative obscurity, and how Argentinian wine production and profitability has yet to even approach that of California, and one can only fairly reach the conclusion that there ‘must’ be something more to the Napa story.
One might point to that fateful 1976 blind tasting in Paris, where Napa wines beat out a host of then-revered French labels to secure what can even now only be described as a reversal of monumental proportions. Fair enough. However, even with that in mind, there must be something ‘more,’ as many, many wine regions and little known labels have had their share of ‘upstart’ awards and recognitions, only to fade back into obscurity.
In truth, it was how Napa ‘capitalized’ on that resounding 1976 Paris win. Ever since, Napa has been on the receiving end of a well-funded decades’ long marketing campaign whose brilliance and reach has been positively Napoleonic. Combined with the strategic production of what’s popular among the consumer-class as opposed to the critic class, all the while being guided, winnowed, and whipped by quality enforcement standards that rival or exceed even the very best French AOCs (appellation d’origine contrôlée), has resulted in the modern Napa Valley phenomenon – a combination that other wine regions around world, including the Old World, would do well to learn from.
As a result, Napa’s success can be summed up as one part enviable climate, one part Napoleonic marketing, and one part draconian quality enforcement.
The Bottle – A Showcase
Today we’ll be reviewing a 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon, which comes to us from the Louis M. Martini Winery.
Tasting And Aromatics – The Review
Today’s wine opens with silky notes of currant and deep red fruit off the top of the glass, accentuated by oak and vanilla accents lingering somewhere in the background. Deeper into the glass, the red fruit notes intensify into sliced black cherry and ripe red berries, with the oaken notes becoming somewhat ‘antique’ in character while retaining their vanilla accents. On the palate, the wine is thoroughly textured, with a complex and pleasant mouthfeel, with the black cherries and ripe berries of the bouquet carrying over from the aromatics into the flavor profile. The ending is a touch more reserved than its flavors might suggest, though quite lasting.
From start to finish, a very enjoyable bottle.
What To Eat – The Pairings
1) Steak Salad. My first suggestion might come off as a bit unorthodox, but I can definitely see myself enjoying today’s bottle with a steak salad prepared with roasted peppers and blistered tomatoes, set over a bed of arugula and basil.
2) Herbed Steak. Cabernet and steak, especially herbed steak, is such a match-made pairing that it’s entered the realm of cliché. However, it’s a beloved pairing for a reason, and so this bottle will serve excellently alongside grilled steaks, particularly those crusted in herbs.
3) Roasted Chicken. Another by-the-book pairing. Roasted chicken with grilled vegetables, herbs, and plenty of garlic will complement today’s bottle perfectly.
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