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Make sure to try this wine

Louis M Martini, Napa Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2018

4,0 NJP of 5,0 NJP

Louis M Martini, Napa Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2018 (35 EUR/38 USD in Sweden) red dry wine, North Coast, California, USA, 4,0 NJP of 5,0 NJP (90 points of 100 points) (20-11-2023 by Nenad Jelisic)


Right now, this wine is the best US-wine under 2,000 SEK at Systembolaget (a government owned chain of all liquor stores in Sweden). The wine is also one of the best wines from the US that NJ Wines has tasted in recent years when red wines under 2,000 SEK are in question. Louis M Martini has succeeded again to produce a brilliant wine from Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley. And it seems that something has happened since the 2017 vintage (4,5 NJP) because the previous vintages used to get 3,0 or 3,5 NJP. What distinguishes the 2017 and 2018 vintages from the previous vintages is that they are more concentrated, more fruity, have better tannin structure, have better acidity and have better balance. What distinguishes the 2018 vintage from 2017 is that it is less fruity and has a better tannin structure. Louis M Martini Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2018 is an austere, concentrated, flavourful and nuanced wine. Austere thanks to its wonderful tannin structure and nuanced thanks to its wonderful balance between its tannins, fruitiness and acidity. The aroma is big, fruity and concentrated with dark roasted coffee, dried blue plums, vanilla, crème de cassis, cedar, blackberry jam, dark chocolate and white pepper. The flavour is big, wonderful, austere and fruity with dried blue plums, tobacco, dark cherries, dark chocolate, coffee and white pepper. The wine is really good already, but it will be even better in a few years. It can be aged for 10 more years, i.e. until 2033.

Such an austere, nuanced and tannin rich wine as this one will go very well with grilled fillet of beef/entrecote with café de Paris sauce and potato gratin or with reindeer stew with buttery mashed potatoes or with grilled pork chops with grilled red peppers, red onions, tomatoes and béarnaise sauce or with hard cheeses such as Cheddar, Svecia, Västerbottensost, Parmesan and Grana Padano. Louis M Martini Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2018 should be served at 18 to 19°C in Bordeaux glasses, if possible, from Orrefors, Kosta Boda, Spiegelau or Riedel. Another alternative is to serve it at 16°C (when room temperature is over 22°C) and then enjoy it when it starts to grow in the glass.

The grapes for Louis M Martini Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon come from several vineyards in the Alexander Valley, but mainly from Barrelli Creek, Frei Ranch, Stefani and Monte Rosso. Taking into account that the grapes for this wine come from several different vineyards, the soil on which the grapes grow is very varied. To preserve the fruit the grapes are picked and sorted by hand early in the morning. Then they are destemmed and pressed gently. The grape mass, which consists of pulp, grape skins, seeds and grape juice is first cold macerated for two days and then is fermented under controlled temperature in stainless steel tanks for three weeks. After the malolactic fermentation, the wine is aged in both French and American oak barrels, 50% new, for 16 months and then in bottles for a few more weeks. Do not worry about the black sediment in the upper part of the bottles as it shows that the wine had been clarified and filtered a little.

NJ Wines

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