Marietta Cellars Old Vine Red Lot 73
Pair the Old Vine Red with a wide range of foods: pizza, pasta, burgers, roasted vegetables, mushrooms, and tacos.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Lovely aromas of pitted red cherries, black cherries, moss and walnut. Medium-to full-bodied with gentle tannins. Nice intensity with lovely length. Juicy, with so much herbal complexity and black fruit. Predominantly zinfandel, with syrah, petite sirah, grenache, barbera, carignan.
Tastes like the gutsy field blends popularized by Italian immigrants back in the day, with potent wild berry, licorice and smoky cracked pepper flavors that finish with broad-shouldered tannins. Zinfandel.
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.
Home to a diverse array of smaller AVAs with varied microclimates and soil types, Sonoma County has something for every wine lover. Physically twice as large as Napa Valley, the region only produces about half the amount of wine but boasts both tremendous quality and variety. With its laid-back atmosphere and down-to-earth attitude, the wineries of Sonoma are appreciated by wine tourists for their friendliness and approachability. The entire county intends to become a 100% sustainable winegrowing region by 2019.
Sonoma County wines are produced with carefully selected grape varieties to reflect the best attributes of their sites—Dry Creek Valley’s consistent sunshine is ideal for Zinfandel, while the warm Alexander Valley is responsible for rich, voluptuous red wines like Cabernet Sauvignon. Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are important throughout the county, most notably in the cooler AVAs of Russian River, Sonoma Coast and Carneros. Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot and Syrah have also found a firm footing here.
With hundreds of red grape varieties to choose from, winemakers have the freedom to create a virtually endless assortment of blended red wines. In many European regions, strict laws are in place determining the set of varieties that may be used, but in the New World, experimentation is permitted and encouraged resulting in a wide variety of red wine styles. Blending can be utilized to enhance balance or create complexity, lending different layers of flavors and aromas. For example, a red wine blend variety that creates a fruity and full-bodied wine would do well combined with one that is naturally high in acidity and tannins. Sometimes small amounts of a particular variety are added to boost color or aromatics. Blending can take place before or after fermentation, with the latter, more popular option giving more control to the winemaker over the final qualities of the wine.
How to Serve Red Wine
A common piece of advice is to serve red wine at “room temperature,” but this suggestion is imprecise. After all, room temperature in January is likely to be quite different than in August, even considering the possible effect of central heating and air conditioning systems. The proper temperature to aim for is 55° F to 60° F for lighter-bodied reds and 60° F to 65° F for fuller-bodied wines.
How Long Does Red Wine Last?
Once opened and re-corked, a bottle stored in a cool, dark environment (like your fridge) will stay fresh and nicely drinkable for a day or two. There are products available that can extend that period by a couple of days. As for unopened bottles, optimal storage means keeping them on their sides in a moderately humid environment at about 57° F. Red wines stored in this manner will stay good – and possibly improve – for anywhere from one year to multiple decades. Assessing how long to hold on to a bottle is a complicated science. If you are planning long-term storage of your reds, seek the advice of a wine professional.