Heitz Martha’s Vineyard is one of Napa’s iconic bottlings; the 1974 counts among the greatest wines in Napa history. During the late 1990s and early 2000s, however, the wine lost some of its luster. Winemaker Brittany Sherwood came on board in 2012. She’s combined a forward-looking approach (among her first tasks was to clean up a cellar that had fallen prey to the spoilage yeast brettanomyces) with respect for tradition; she did not, for example, change the wine’s longer élevage in upright oak casks. Recent vintages display fresher, purer and brighter fruit and are driving a return to prominence for the label.
This throws off an overt and alluring mint aroma, while sweet bay leaf, violet, damson plum, red tea and steeped griotte notes all glide through together, carried by remarkably fine-grained tannins. Ends with a gentle echo of mint on the finish, while a subtle minerality chimes through as well. A stylish and suave wine, with plenty of charm now, but also pristine balance for cellaring. Best from 2022 through 2038.—James Molesworth
- Special Designation:
- Napa Valley, California
- Issue Date:
- Nov. 15, 2021