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Since the first vintage in 2000, Martin Estate has earned itself a position among the top California Cabernet producers, and this engaging, flavor-packed current release makes it easy to see why. The extremely limited production 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon possesses a restrained elegance while still delivering the power and finesse we’ve grown to love from Napa Valley’s Rutherford wineries and vineyards. Although this gem was not sent out for review, the reputation alone of the winery and vineyard sets this Cabernet on a pedestal all its own. The wine’s soft-edged but focused aromas of sweet cherry, black currants and earthy “Rutherford dust” lead into bright fruit flavors, vanilla toffee notes, and subtle hints of cassis and tobacco spice. A soft, balanced mouthfeel makes it delightfully food-friendly and its distinctive flavor profile is true to its Rutherford origin. [+]