Monday, May 4, 2009

Louis Martini Sonoma Cabernet

Louis M. Martini Winery
Cabernet Sauvignon
Sonoma County
Healdsburg, California, USA
$13.99 -- Central Market, Austin, TX

Color: Dark ruby, tinge of purple at the edge
Nose: Cassis, blueberry
Body: Medium to full
Front: Chocolate-covered blackberry
Middle: Pepper, cedar, orange peel
Back: Peppermint
Burns clean?: Yes
Cap: Cork

I think I've been carrying around a prejudice against Martini wines for awhile. Maybe ten years ago, I had some at a cocktail party, and found it heinous. Then a friend of mine ordered this one at a nice Austin seafood place, and it was boffo and cheap. On reflection, I really didn't have a good reason for avoiding the entire winery, when the problem could just have been a hot summer day or a weak catering company.

With interesting layers and strong California fruit, this wine is a delight. In our cash-strapped times, it is particularly excellent, up there with the St. Francis Cab. Tonight it's paired with baby bok choy, herb-crusted baked chicken, and a killer aged goat cheese called Pata Cabra that has changed my entire outlook on life.

Note: 27 September, 2009, and it's still drinking tastily. Maybe more tastily, even. They've released the 2007, and rumor has it it's pretty good too. The price went up, one suspects on the strength of the reaction to this vintage.