Wine of the week

WINE OF THE WEEK

January 28, 2004|By Michael Dresser

2000 Louis M. Martini Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve ($24). Martini is one of the oldest winemakers in the Napa Valley, but in recent decades it had been in a prolonged decline even as its neighbors' reputations soared. This is one of its first releases since it was acquired by E. & J. Gallo - yes, that Gallo - and believe it or not, it's a beauty. It's a full-bodied, well-structured, intensely flavorful wine with all the typical components of great Napa cab: black cherry, blackberry, herbs and chocolate. It's long in the finish, with a lively acidity. This complex wine is easily comparable to many Napa cabernets selling for twice the price. Accessible now, it also should age well for a decade or more. Bravo!

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