Marietta Old Vine Red #50
Other Red Blends from Sonoma County, California
Since Dad started Marietta in 1978, he has now made 50 Lots of Old Vine Red. That accomplishment did not go unnoticed with the blending of Lot 50 Dad put a little extra into this one and it definitely shows... The addition of Syrah from our Mendocino Hill vineyard adds a dusty, gamey component to this (as always) Zinfandel-based wine. Still fruit forward with rich, spicy blackberry flavors, lot 50 is certainly more layered and complex in aroma and flavor as a result. Always a bargain in fruit and stature, this wine delivers more nuance than generally found in this price range as evidenced by the demand that continually outpaces the supply.
The Wine Advocate - "The non-vintage Old Vine Red Lot #50 (the 50th incarnation of this cuvee) offers a dark ruby/purple color along with a big, peppery, spicy, fruit-laden bouquet, chewy, fleshy, meaty flavors, plenty of body, but no hard edges. It is the ideal bistro/brasserie/trattoria red for luscious drinking at a bargain basement price. This wine flies off retailers’ shelves, so smart consumers take note. For over three decades one of the great values in dry California red wine has been the non-vintage kitchen sink blend from the Bilbro’s family-owned Marietta Cellars. "
Marietta Cellars Winery
Marietta Cellars is just outside the little town of Geyserville in California's premier wine growing region, Sonoma County. Owner and winemaker Chris Bilbro founded Marietta Cellars in 1979 after cutting his wine business teeth by working at Bandiera founded by his grandparents Emil and Luduina Bandiera in 1937. Today, case production nears 30,000--all of which is totally allocated. The wines currently produced are Cabernet, Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Syrah, a proprietary blend called Old Vine Red, and a limited-quantity special blend called Angeli Cuvee. Occasionally, a Port is added to the line-up. View all Marietta Cellars Wines
About Sonoma CountyRelated Links:
Twice as large as Napa in size, Sonoma County only makes about a half the amount of wine as her northeasterly neighbor. But Sonoma, with her size, is able to vouch for more diversity within her borders, including sub-AVAs that are climatically varied. The atmosphere of Sonoma is decidedly laid back and down home country style. But in wines, they are keeping up with the Joneses, or Napa-ites if you will. Grape varieties are more varied here, from Pinot Noir and Zinfandel to Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay.
Notable FactsThe largest sub-AVAs of Sonoma include Dry Creek Valley, Russian River Valley, Alexander Valley and Sonoma Valley. Each sub-AVA, with its own micro-climate, is unique in its grape varieties and styles of wine. Dry Creek makes a mean Zinfandel while Russian River produces stand up Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The Alexander Valley makes some of the better Cabernet Sauvignons in the county and Sonoma Valley creates excellent wines from all the above varieties. Other grapes found throughout Sonoma include Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot and Syrah.
About CaliforniaIt's not rare to see a wine's country of origin listed as "California." A country into itself in the wine world, California makes enough varieties and styles to match many European wine countries. It produces a diverse range of wines that span the quality spectrum.
The most famous of the California wine regions is Napa Valley, and these wines are certainly outstanding – but it's not as broad and diverse as its larger neighbor, Sonoma County. Down south, Santa Barbara's Santa Maria Valley is well-known for its Rhône blends, as well as cool-climate varieties like Pinot and Chardonnay. The Central Coast, the largest California AVA, has many different microclimates that lead to a wide range of wines with many sub-AVAs.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
- Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
- Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
- Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.