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Saturday, October 4, 2014

Louis M. Martini Cabernet Sauvignon Monte Rosso tasting, Sept 23/14

The Date and Time: Tuesday, September 23, 2014  11AM to 3 PM
The Event: Tasting of Cabernet Sauvignon with Michael Martini of Louis M. Martini Wines
The Venue: Vintage Conservatory, Lombard Street.
The Target Audience: wine writers and sommeliers
The Availability/Catalogue: two wines were library wines, the others are available in Ontario or BC.
The Quote/Background: Third-generation winemaker Michael Martini (now in his 38th harvest) spoke anecdotally about his company. For about 80 years, LMM focused on cabernet sauvignon in Napa and Sonoma. But they also made 11 different varietal wines by 2002 when they were bought by EJ Gallo (who wanted them to concentrate exclusively on cabernet sauvignon). No wine was made as vines were pulled and vineyards replanted with cabernet sauvignon. Now there are some PV/PS/Zinfandel for local blends and local distribution; otherwise, the LMM name is only for Cabernet Sauvignon. He commented on all of the wines, giving us his impressions are he went along.
The Wines: We also had a Zinfandel 2008 to try as well as some current Ghost Pines Chardonnay 2012. The LMM Cabernets were delightfully heavy and unctuous (Lot 1 was 15.2ABV, Monte Rosso 2004 was 15.4ABV, Monte Rosso 2010 was 15.2ABV). Of note is the high percentage of new oak, principally French. 
**** BEST -- Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Louis M. Martini Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2011, $29.95 +232371 Vintages Ess
-Louis M. Martini Lot No 1 Cabernet Sauvignon 2010, $150 Consignment
-Louis M. Martini Monte Rosso Cabernet Sauvignon 2004 Library Wine
-Louis M. Martini Monte Rosso Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 Library Wine [fave of the day]
-Louis M. Martini Monte Rosso Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 $99.95 Classics Feb 15
-Louis M. Martini Monte Rosso Zinfandel Gnarly Vine 2008 $45 in British Columbia
***1/2 BETTER -- Three and a Half Stars (88 – 90 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Louis M. Martini Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon 2012, $18.45 +292151
-Louis M. Martini Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2011, $40 PO
-Ghost Pines Chardonnay 2012 California (Napa, Sonoma, Monterey) +308122, $19.95 LCBO
The Food: it was buffet style, with salad, roast potatoes, asparagus, and flank steak – just perfect for accompanying the various remainders of the Cabernet Sauvignon bottles. Salmon was available for vegetarians.
The Downside: the rooms were noisy with chatter unless Michael Martini was speaking.
The Upside: good location.
The Contact Person:;
The Event's Marketing Effectiveness and Execution (numerical grade): 92.


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