Martha Clara Vineyards introduced us to a new dessert, port style wine. Ciel has been around for years, but with the ripe highly regarded 2007 vintage, winemaker Juan E. Micieli-Martinez wanted to make a port style wine with some of the estate grown grapes.
Port wine is a style of wine. To be more specific it is a fortified wine that is produced in Portugal, hence the term Port wine. It is typically a sweet, red wine, often served as a dessert wine, and comes in dry, semi-dry, and white varieties. Long Island makes plenty of fortified wines, but to use the word Port, is technically a no-no. The word port does not appear anywhere on the label of this bottle.
This Martha Clara Vineyards 2007 Clusters ($29) is an perfectly balanced blend of Estate Grown grapes; 34% Merlot, 33%Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Cabernet Franc. The grapes were hand harvested in November 2007, fermented in stainless steel and aged for 3 years in neutral oak barrels.
On the nose I was picking up notes of dried strawberry, blueberry and cherry. Jamy for sure with hints of alcohol. Chocolate cover cherry drops, tobacco , cedar and vanilla round out the nose with some hints of spice Cassis and liquor as the wine is open for a while.
When first tasted there are notes of baked fruit compote, strawberry, raspberry, blackberry and blueberry. Clover honey, brown sugar and baking spices also appear at the back-end of the taste. Stewed plum, chocolate and vanilla caramel and roasted nuts also emerge with time open and in the glass.
The wine showed some heat, thanks in part the hot 2007 vintage and the high alcohol (19%). I enjoyed this wine, the acidity was just right that it kept me coming back for another sip.
The wine did change over the course of 5 days time and I found it more enjoyable on days two, three and four. The flavors developed more and the wine developed a complexity.
Sláinte!*I received this bottle as a sample from the vineyard