Incredible Wine Value - Marietta Old Vines Lot Number 22
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- Bucko - 01-26-1999 01:12 AM
Marietta Old Vines Red, Lot Number Twenty Two, California, $8 discounted - A blend of Zinfandel, Carignan, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Sirah and Gamay. Dark ruby with a jammy nose. The wine explodes in the mouth with blackberry fruit and a hint of pepper. It is not a complex wine, but it is a delicious wine. It is drinking well now and will hold in the cellar for a few years, but why wait? Remarkable for the price.
- Jerry D Mead - 01-26-1999 01:37 AM
This is an example of a non-varietal identity wine with a real track record. From the very first edition (which I had the privilege of reviewing)it has been good to great juice almost every year. Just shows what old vines, dry farmed Sonoma fruit can do, even if much of the fruit is not currently fashionable varieties.
- misterjive - 02-01-1999 12:19 AM
The blend from Marietta sounds delicious. The presence of the lighter and jammier grapes along with the old nobles is a great
idea. There are plenty of "Meritage" blends (which is not necessarily a bad thing) but only a few blends that defy easy categorization....
- Jerry D Mead - 02-01-1999 02:16 AM
Some of the most exciting such wines come from old Italian field blends (that's old fields...not old Italians)...where the grower of 50-100 years ago did his blending in the vineyard rather than in the winery.
And we're not just talking so many rows or acres of this and so many of something else to be used in the blend, but actual interplanting in the row with everything intended to picked at once...So in a single vineyard row you might have ten Zin, 3 Carignane, 2 Petite Sirah, an Alicante and a Sauvignon Vert or a Palomino.
There are fewer and fewer of these old vineyards around as they get uprooted to plant to more acreage of fashionable Chardonnay and Merlot, and a major sin against the existing ones is that growers tell the pickers to skip the white vines, ignoring the fact that some old Italian knew exactly why he included that Sauv Vert in the blend and forgetting the tradition of using white grapes in Rioja, Chianti and even at one time is Red Brodeaux and Burgundy.