It’s been a year since our last spin with Louis M. Martini’s top-shelf Lot No. 1 Cabernet Sauvignon, and for this 2016 release I’m experiencing a much different animal. There’s a bold blackberry note on the nose — a bit short of sweet currants — that masks some of the denser herbal and tarry qualities of the wine, coming across on the palate as a bit underripe, its dark chocolate notes marred by some green pepper, balsamic, and green olive notes. Give this cab some time to develop in the glass and things start to coalesce into a more cohesive finish, but it’s slow going. 2016 was a banner year for California cabernet, so it’s possible this bottling will improve further with time.
B+ / $200 / louismartini.com