A very yummy and versatile wine with a strangely storied history with me over the past few months.
I first tried Louis M. Martin Cabernet Sauvignons a few months ago at a large tasting with Natalie MacLean. I generally go through thirty or forty wines during one of these, and always remember stand-outs. At this particular even, a Louis M. Martin Cab Sauv was definitely one of them. It was amazingly good for what I thought was a $20 wine. I actually went as far as selfishly trying to hunt down a case of it before raving about how good it was before raving about it online.
It turns out that Louis M. Martin has several version of their Cab Sauv, and I'd tried the more expensive version. Thus ended a potential "unicorn hunt" where I try to find a $20 wine that tastes like a $40 wine. It's not unheard of, but it's difficult. When I discovered my mistake I picked up a bottle of each. This review is actually for the cheaper of the two. While it's not as good as the more expensive version, it's still quite a good wine.
It's a deep ruby wine, tending towards garnet. The aromas centre around the fruit, with black cherry, plum, and cassis, but are closely followed by cocoa, dried leaves, tobacco, and tar. Great complexity, and it does open up quite well, so decant for about an hour if you have the time.
The taste is mainly tart black cherry with a touch of plum. There's a nice level of tannins that are a touch young and might improve with a little ageing. The finish is medium tart cherry with the tannins showing nicely as well. Going from memory, the big difference between this and the more expensive version might be that this has a very slight touch of vegetal taste, but is missing a touch of mint in the aroma. Check back later when we try the upscale version.
We paired this with leftovers. Specifically, leftover roast beef done in a pressed panini, with a Jalapeno Jack cheese and "brocoslaw". It was a good pairing, but not exceptional. After dinner, we tried the remaining wine with some Costo chocolate truffles that had been hanging around since Christmas. Desite violating the general guideline that your wine should be sweeter tan your dessert, the pairing was very good. The cocoa aspect of the wine matched the dusted cocoa of the truffles, and the acidity of the wine was a perfect offset to the fattiness of the truffle. I highly recommend it.