Old Vine Red is a proprietary red wine made to replicate the field blends of many of the old vineyards in Sonoma and Mendocino counties. Predominantly comprised of Zinfandel, Old Vine Red combines pure fruit, a supple mouth feel and a rich, solid structure. A groundbreaking combination of varietals and multiple vintages first produced in 1982, this wine has blazed the path for red blends for decades. With a historic underground following, it is one of the longest lasting and best known red blends produced today.
The Lot 68 Old Vine Red is deep ruby-colored and has terrific fruit, lots of spice and graphite nuances, medium body, and shocking purity and texture for a wine at this price point (from California, anyway). It has tons to love and is a little gem to drink over the coming year or two.
50% Syrah and 50% Grenache from our McDowell Valley vineyard, the fruit included is some of the oldest in the state and was hand-picked from six foot tall vines early in the season at brix levels of 19 and 21. Pale in color but not in exuberance, this rosé shows bright stonefruit and lemon tart backed by palpable acidity and a long creamy mouthfeel from weekly lees stirring post fermentation.
Balanced and beautiful, this light- to medium-bodied wine made from Rhône varieties offers everything in appealing proportions. Jazzy raspberry aromas are followed by subtle cherry and rhubarb flavors on a crisp texture.
With rich aromatics of honey and apricot, this dry Riesling surprises with bright acid and a lean texture. Juicy, but clean and precise, this wine is wonderful with spicy, rich food yet also delicious on its own. Drink lightly chilled.
Our winemaking is based on a unique blend of tradition and innovation, however, the backbone to everything that we do is hard work. Román Cisneros, our Cellar Master and employee of thirty years, embodies the heart and commitment that creates our wines. This Zinfandel is from our vineyards in Alexander Valley, McDowell Valley and the Yorkville Highlands. Made in Románs favorite style, it is rich and lush with powerful structure.
The 2017 Román is a gorgeous, Zinfandel-based blend from Marietta that offers sweet floral notes and bright, red-toned berry flavors. Medium-bodied and refreshing, the 2017 is delicious, fun and easy to drink. I loved it.
This intense, powerful Syrah-based wine is grown mostly on our McDowell Valley property which has a long history of championing Rhone varietals. Co-fermented with Viognier, the Syrah expresses violet, tar, and rich earth. Petite Sirah from Alexander Valley brings chewy bitter chocolate, while Grenache grown at 1400 feet elevation in the Yorkville highlands keeps the wine bright and juicy. Full-bodied and fleshy, this wine is dark and brooding yet silky and smooth.
The 2016 Christo, Mariettas Syrah-based blend, is terrific. Black cherry, chocolate, leather, licorice and spice give the wine much of its dark, brooding feel. Powerful and intense, but with good freshness, the 2016 is wonderfully complete and absolutely delicious.
The Estate Cabernet Sauvignon comes from our vineyards in Alexander Valley and McDowell Valley. Harvested in late September and early October and fermented for three weeks at temperatures in the 70s, these grapes yielded deep, intense wine that conveys a taut freshness with great aromatic purity. Balanced between modern California and Old World, this wine is dense with buckets of black currant and cherry that are tempered with a dusty herbaceous quality. Built to age and best with food.
The 2016 Armé is another superb wine in the middle tier of the Marietta range. Fresh, savory and super- expressive, the Armé has a lot going on. Black cherry, sage, lavender, menthol and licorice give the wine striking savory nuance to play off the dark Cabernet Sauvignon fruit. More than anything else, though, the Armé is a superb value in California Cabernet.
I grew up watching my dad do magic. Never with cards or sleight of hand, instead, he would transform cardboard wine boxes into suits of armor for my brothers and I, or make up stories on the spot about rusted out cars in the river and turn them into broken down steeds of long gone errant knights. All of us kids would listen to him, fascinated, he had a way of casually turning the everyday, the routine, into something special. Meals were simple but sourced from the garden and eaten outside at sunset. There were multiple hour sessions of hide and seek in the winery that involved crazy ingenuity: building a wine pallet around an empty space to lie hidden or getting wrapped up in a sleeping bag before hiding in a freezer with the door propped open…
That is how I learned to make wine. Watching my dad cook ribs that were sweet but spicy and blending together a fruity Zinfandel and a hefty Petite Sirah so that it would go better with dinner. Everything was transformed to become something better. Creativity and possibility reigned supreme.
I started here at Marietta a week after graduating from UC Davis with in depth scientific and technical training. Plonked down in the middle of the cellar, I was uncertain and tentative but my dad gave me lots of room and I repurposed machinery, built out the winery, and showed up day after day just trying to make a contribution by following my gut.
Ten years later, dad is retired and I learned along the way how to make wine by magic. The science is still important: there are times when yeast needs to be fed, oxygens interaction with the wine is still crucial, temperature ranges will make or break a fermentation… but, the real magic happens in quiet moments. After a ridiculously long day of harvesting when everyone is gone, walking the cellar between tanks full of bubbling, fermenting wine with the overhead lights off, doing one last temperature check on each tank with the palm of the hand. Thinking about the tons of grape skins, the trainloads of sugar, the massive accumulation of man-hours represented in each tank… turning dark and rich… the possibility in that cellar is palpable.
We are still performing magic here at Marietta. This second-generation winery continues to transform hard work, a blessed climate, special pieces of land, and belief into beautiful liquid expressions of family and place.