2018 Martellotto La Bomba Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara Cabernet Sauvignon

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  • "Masterful blend"
  • Unanimous results at two competitive tastings
  • Love child of Napa & Bordeaux Cab
  • Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara is the New Napa

About the Wine

Martellotto Winery in Santa Barbara has been producing award-winning wines since 2005. Since the winery self distributes fewer than 8,000 cases, the wines have flown under the radar. However, the secret is now out. Consistent 90+ ratings and several double gold medals in competitive blind wine competitions have brought the attention of major publications and critics.

The "La Bomba Cabernet" has bested Napa, Sonoma, and Paso Robles Cabernets in the under $50 category in the prestigious San Francisco Chronicle wine competition. This wine managed to do the seemingly impossible; all the judges unanimously agreed it was the best Cabernet of the bunch for the money.  We agree.

A duo of 91+ ratings from Wine Enthusiast and Jeb Dunnuck followed.

Martellotto Winery is one of the few wineries in the US producers bottling all five of the noble Bordeaux varietals including Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc, and Malbec. Martellotto also makes several Bordeaux blends, a blockbuster Il Capoccia Riserva, and Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from the certified organic Spear vineyard in Sta. Rita Hills.

Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara sits at the far eastern part the larger Santa Ynez Valley. In 2009, Happy Canyon was recognized as a new AVA, given the significantly warmer micro-climate.

"La Bomba" is in fact a bomb of a wine. Cabernet with a touch of Petit Verdot, Malbec and Cabernet Franc from the hot new region of Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara. Fantastic wine and the best we've had from this as yet unheralded region.

If you love Napa Cabernet and Bordeaux, you owe it to yourself to try this wine. The escalating prices combined with smoke taint in Napa and the taxes on Bordeaux have made it increasingly challenging to get great Cab at a great price. Here it is.

If you could imagine the best of Napa and the best of Bordeaux had a love child that was raised in Santa Barbara, it would be La Bomba from Happy Canyon.


92 pts Beverage Tasting Institute. (v.2016)

The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon La Bomba (76% Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest Malbec, Petit Verdot, and Cabernet Franc) sports a deeper ruby color as well as classic Cabernet notes of blackcurrants, tobacco leaf, chocolate, and earth. It's medium to full-bodied, has ripe tannin, a nicely balanced texture and a great finish. It’s impressive today but will keep for 10-15 years. ~91 pts, JD (v.2016)

Charred meat, smoked boysenberries, crushed gravel and charcoal make for a savory nose on this bottling by Greg Martellotto, whose Italian family has made wine for generations. Dried herbs, tangy cranberries and roasted meats show on the palate, which offers a hefty weight and should age well. ~91pts, WE (v.2016)

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