Marietta Old Vine Red Lot 53 NV
Three and a half glasses
External Reviews for Marietta Old Vine Red Lot 53
One of Californiarsquo;s iconic value wines, this old vine blend assembled by owner/winemaker Chris Bilbro is a combination of Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, Carignane, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Syrah. The newest version, #49, is one of Bilbrorsquo;s finest efforts to date. It boasts a deep plum/ruby color as well as a gorgeous nose of pepper, blackberries, black currants, roasted herbs, and forest floor. Full-bodied and dense with silky tannin as well as a lush texture, this is the quintessential bistro/brasserie/trattoria red to drink with gusto, exuberance, and joy. The price makes it an outright steal!
This wine has become a darling to intelligent wine consumer, as evidenced by the fact that the entire production is allocated. The Lot 22 offering, primarily from the 1996 and 1997 vintages, is a blend of Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, Carignan, Gamay and Cabernet Sauvignon, from vineyard sources in Napa, Sonoma and Mendocino. It is a weighty, seriously-endowed wine with a dark purple color, as well as a super nose of cherries, black currants, pepper, spice, and loamy soil notes. Full-bodied and richly-extracted, with copious quantities of berry fruit, excellent purity, and an expansive, silky-textured finish, this wine can be drunk now as well as cellared for 2ndash;3 years.
This wine exhibits a medium dark ruby color, attractive blackberry and currant fruit, medium-body, good spice and pepper, and a firm, compact finish. Although not as impressive an effort as previous examples, this wine remains a very fine value in terms of a full flavored mouthfilling gutsy exuberant dry red wine. Drink it over the next 2ndash;3 years.
Once again, Marietta has proven just how masterful a blend can be made and sold at a realistic price. This category is ignored by every high quality producer in California, yet Marietta has produced 20,000 cases of their non-vintage Old Vine Red Lot 34, a blend of 65% Zinfandel, 30% Carignan, and 5% Petite Sirah. The current rendition of this typically Rhone-like effort reveals more Zinfandel characteristics in its briery, berry notes intermixed with touches of earth, spice, and pepper. It offers surprising elegance as well as pure fruit flavors unencumbered by oak or tannin. Drink it over the next 1ndash;3 years.
Leave it to this solid winery to produce tasty reds that sell at realistic prices. Their biggest hit is the 20,000+ case cuveacute;e of Old Vine red. Their newly release non-vintage Old Vine Lot 31 is a blend of 60% Zinfandel, 20% Carignan, and the rest Petite Sirah, Grenache, and who knows what else, from the 2000 and 2001 vintages. Its dark ruby/purple color is followed by a Cocirc;tes du Rhocirc;ne-like nose of crushed black pepper intermixed with with sweet and sour black cherries, currants, figs, and earth. Nicely-textured and chewy, this delicious red should be consumed over the next 2ndash;3 years.
One of the finest values in the wine world is Marietta Old Vine Red, the most recent rendition being Lot 19. This wine, usually a blend of Petit Sirah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Carignane, and who knows what else, is always a deep ruby/purple-colored wine with copious quantities of peppery black fruits intertwined with scents of earth. A chewy, fleshy, full-bodied, mouthfilling wine, this juicy, burly effort disappears as quickly as Marietta releases the 10,000+ cases that are produced. While most of the Old Vine Red is consumed within the first 1ndash;2 months of purchase, it gives every indication of lasting for 5 or more years.
For some inexplicable reason, few California wineries turn out top quality value-priced wines. One exception is Marietta Cellars, which produces one of my favorite best buys from their blend of grapes (including Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, Carignan, and Gamay) grown in Sonoma, Napa, and Mendocino. The non-vintage Old Vine Red Lot 37 exhibits a deep ruby color as well as a fragrant perfume of sweet berry fruit and loamy soil. While not complex, it offers a savory, nicely-textured mouthfeel, impressive purity, and a heady finish. Enjoy it over the next 1ndash;3 years.