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  • Country ranking ?

    1
  • Producer ranking ?

    1
  • Decanting time

    2h
  • When to drink

    now to 2025
  • Food Pairing

    Enjoy without food

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The Story

Martha's Vineyard Cabenet Sauvignon 
The distinguished legacy of Heitz Wine Cellars spans nearly half a century.

Founders Joe and Alice Heitz embarked on their illustrious journey in 1961 when there were fewer than a dozen wineries scattered across the Napa Valley. With the purchase of their first 8-acre vineyard just south of St. Helena, Joe’s years of intense study and experience quickly translated into a reputation for bold and brilliant winemaking.
That carefully nurtured reputation is thriving today with the second-generation. Siblings Kathleen Heitz Myers, president, and David Heitz, winemaker, have both been integral to the winery’s success for the past three decades.
Since 1964, this winemaking dynasty has operated from their 160-acre ranch and homestead in the eastern hills of St. Helena.

Heitz’ Martha’s Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon has enjoyed flagship standing among the family’s esteemed portfolio of wines since Joe Heitz produced the first bottle in 1966.
In fact, Martha’s Vineyard Cabernet has been revered by wine lovers and collectors around the world for more than 40 years. Wine Spectator validated their opinion of this remarkable wine when they selected it as one of the Top 12 wines of the 20th Century.

The acclaim for Martha’s Vineyard Cabernet drew attention to the Napa Valley and helped to bring about international recognition of California wines. In 1997, the Heitz Family was invited to attend a history-making dinner in France hosted by Champagne Louis Roederer where Martha’s Vineyard Cabernet was honored as one of the “The World’s Thirty Greatest Wines”.

All of this fanfare had its beginnings in 1965 when the Heitz Family formed a special bond with Tom and Martha May. The Mays had been gifted with two memorable bottles of Heitz wines when they acquired their 34-acre Oakville vineyard in 1963. Although the couple wanted to concentrate on grape growing, they believed that their ranch near the Mayacamas foothills had “special dirt”, and they felt that their fruit warranted the attention of a top winemaker.
The Mays decided to make a visit to Heitz Wine Cellars where their opportune meeting with Joe and Alice marked the beginning of a treasured friendship and now-historic business relationship. That important connection continues today with the second generation of both families and the exclusive arrangement now includes the sibling team of Richard May and Laura May Everett.
The first harvest of the May’s vineyard yielded berries of incomparable quality. The unique character of Martha’s Vineyard inspired Joe and Tom to create the first vineyard designated wine in the Napa Valley – the 1966 Martha’s Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon.

“Dad wanted the pure essence from the vineyard to come across, and Martha’s Vineyard Cabernet has the become the most well-known around the world for its unique mintiness and aroma, the layers of complexity that it produces, and its dark, deep chocolate richness,” said Kathleen Heitz Myers.

The vineyard is farmed organically today and typically yields small, deep purple berries with highly intense flavor. The rows of vines are positioned on the western side of the valley where they revel in the morning sun and then cool slightly earlier than the valley floor. The farm is situated on a graveled alluvial plain surrounded by huge Eucalyptus trees which many believe to be the source of the wine’s distinctive minty taste and aroma.
Martha’s Vineyard Cabernet benefits from the Heitz Family’s signature aging process which proceeds at a carefully orchestrated pace for five years from vintage to release.

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Wine Information

Temperate Consistent. Cool spring with a touch of frost. Long, cool summer. Ideal ripening conditions during crush. Excellent, well-balanced fruit. A memorable vintage.



 

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Average Bottle Price

2021 2019 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2005 2000 1995
1 750€ +12.2% 1 560€ +10.6% 1 411€ +6.7% 1 322€ +22.9% 1 076€ +12.7% 955€ +16.0% 823€ +13.7% 724€ -2.8% 745€ +46.4% 509€ +24.4% 409€ +41.5% 289€

This data comes from the FINE Auction Index, a composite of average prices for wines sold at commercial auctions in 20 countries. The average prices from each year have been collected since 1990. This chart plots the index value of the average price of the wines.

Latest Pro-tasting notes

90 tasting notes

Tasting note

color

Medium, Brick red and Healthy

ending

Long, Flavorful and Spicy

flavors

Mint, Blackcurrant, Coffee, Blackberry, Licorice and Herbs

nose

Intense, Refined, Seductive and Complex

recommend

Yes

taste

Average in Acidity, Warming, Medium tannin, Concentrated, Well-structured, Perfectly balanced, Youthful, Full-bodied, Rich, Vigor, Ripe and Silky tannins

Verdict

Outstanding and Masterpiece

Written Notes

Heitz Martha's Vineyard 1974. Still a big, powerful wine that sums up the richness of this perfect Napa vintage. It is densely fruity, spicy with an enormous black plum and minty fruit character to go with the acidity. It's concentrated while still showing such wonderfully pure fruit. This is a monumental, eternal wine!

  • 98p
It was a great bottle, a veritable chocolate ice cream soda loaded with minerals that was amazingly fresh. It stood up to all the Old World wines quite well and was the perfect finishing touch
  • 97p
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Information

Origin

St. Helena, Napa Valley

Vintage Quality

Outstanding

Value For Money

Very good

Investment potential

Excellent

Fake factory

There is a possibility

Glass time

1h

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Private Release

Sauvignon Blanc

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Zinfandel

Inside Information

In our family, most of life's memorable moments have involved sharing a bottle of fine wine with friends and family. Many of the personal and business relationships that we still treasure after three generations started around our dinner table.

When people choose Heitz Cellars, they envision a classic wine and pure elegance that they can count on year after year. That is the heart and soul of our heritage. Our practices and methods have evolved over the years, but the quality of our wines and the integrity of our approach to the business --- that is going to stay the same."    - Kathleen Heitz Myers, President

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Highlights

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