Martin Ranch

Martin Ranch
J. D. Hurley Cabernet Sauvignon Santa Clara Valley
2003

For Christmas last year, Meg gave Steve a wine club membership to Martin Ranch Winery, a small outfit run by Dan and Thérèse Martin in the Santa Cruz mountains of California. The Martins manage their own vineyards and also buy grapes from local growers, making wines under the J. D. Hurley and Thérèse Vineyards labels.

These are wonderful wines, powerful and almost strident. The Cab we opened tonight is no exception: oaky, tannic, with a heavy menthol nose and palate. The wine is inky red, almost black. There's fruit, but the herbaceousness almost overwhelms it. We're not sure how this wine would age—whether it has enough fruit to hold up—but it would be fun to try. It has tremendous structure and presence. It's not a fun wine; it's a serious wine, complex and interesting, inviting more tastes.

Price: about $20

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