Marietta Cellars Christo 2014
Blend: 60% Syrah, 22% Petite Sirah, 14% Grenache and 4% Viognier
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Starting with only a handful of purchased grapes in 1978, Marietta Cellars has been a standout winery in Sonoma and Mendocino since the very beginning. Founded by Chris Bilbro, a Sonoma County native with winemaking roots dating back three generations, Marietta rose to prominence with its revolutionary Old Vine Red, a California red blend that essentially created the category. The winery has slowly expanded its estate holdings over the past thirty years, evolving into a beacon for high quality, balanced Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, and Rhône variety blends. Now fully estate-based and organically farmed, Marietta has vineyards spanning 310 acres in the Alexander Valley, McDowell Valley, and Yorkville Highlands. Notable among their heritage plantings are California’s oldest Syrah blocks, planted in the late 1800s.
Scot Bilbro, Chris’s son, has brought Marietta into its next, incredibly exciting phase. After graduating from UC Davis with a degree in Viticulture and Enology in 2007, Scot joined the winery full-time, assuming the role of winemaker in 2012. Steeped in the history of the California wine country and the traditions established by his father, Scot combines his creativity and technical background in guiding the winery’s vision of viticulture and winemaking. Today, the fusion of traditional values and style with modern precision have culminated in the most highly regarded wines of Marietta’s four decade history.
Reaching up California's coastline and into its valleys north of San Francisco, the North Coast AVA includes six counties: Marin, Solano, Napa, Sonoma, Mendocino and Lake. While Napa and Sonoma enjoy most of the glory, the rest produce no shortage of quality wines in an intriguing and diverse range of styles.
Climbing up the state's rugged coastline, the chilly Marin County, just above the City and most of Sonoma County, as well as Mendocino County on the far north end of the North Coast successfully grow cool-climate varieties like Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and in some spots, Riesling. Inland Lake County, on the other hand, is considerably warmer, and Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel and Sauvignon Blanc produce some impressive wines with affordable price tags.
With bold fruit flavors and accents of sweet spice, Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre form the base of the classic Rhône Red Blend, while Carignan, Cinsault and Counoise often come in to play. Though they originated from France’s southern Rhône Valley, with some creative interpretation, Rhône blends have also become popular in other countries. Somm Secret—Putting their own local spin on the Rhône Red Blend, those from Priorat often include Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. In California, it is not uncommon to see Petite Sirah make an appearance.