The name itself says dependable and California: LOUIS M. MARTINI. The first wines from the multi-generational winemaking Martini family were made in 1933, at the height of the Great Depression. 1933 also marked the end of the Prohibition, and Louis M. Martini, an Italian immigrant, was among the first to establish a winery in Napa Valley, making him a true original. The imagination takes flight wondering what this Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon might have tasted like to people back then. It was a time when families in droves took upon a great exodus from their homes in the Dust Bowls of Middle America and set out west to seek out the fruits of their labor in the Promised Land of California. A wine so expansive and rich in expression is befitting of a wine borne out of such rich history. The 2011 vintage is broad and persistent with plum, cassis and dark cherry, with some Port-like qualities in its dark chocolate and clove notes, its full body boasting a dense structure. The Louis Martini is a classic Napa Cab that has stood the test of time and raised the bar for comparable wines in its price range, for most other wines in this category do not possess its solid structure or smooth texture or lengthy finish. What’s more, this is a people’s Cab—meant to be drank, not stored away and, for the quality, priced so fairly that anyone wondering what they’re missing out on by not having a $100 Napa Cab can forget the thought pretty quickly. With this wine, just about everybody can have a taste of the rich life. –J.M.
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