70% Syrah, 17% Petite Sirah, 10% Grenache & 3% Viognier
Something a bit different from California. Located in Sonoma County, owner and winemaker Chris Bilbro initially founded Marietta Cellars in 1978 in a rented cow barn in the Dry Creek Valley. The winery is named after Chris' great aunt, Marietta, a tough Italian immigrant. Not having any children of her own, she took Chris under her wing and taught him how to cook by hand, which is a direct correlation to Chris' winemaking style. His wines are usually a blend of vintages and have a generosity and rusticity not often found in New World wines. A Syrah dominant blend, it is well described by the two reviews below…
Winery notes (Lot #3)
"This wine is a powerhouse: dense, rich, and long. The nose continues to balance deep berry, savoury herb and mineral earth characters. A gorgeous rhone-style blend of Syrah, Petite Sirah, Grenache and Viognier, it is extremely easy to drink and it has layers of flavour that last longer than the bottle."
91/100 Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Lot #3)
"There are approximately 12,000 cases of the NV Christo Lot 3, which is a hedonistic blend of Grenache, Syrah, Petite Sirah and a touch of Viognier to uplift the aromatics. This is, again, aged in neutral oak for two years and a blend of three vintages: 2011, 2012 and 2013. This is my favourite of all of these wines – a wine of exceptional purity and intensity and plenty of character, as this one is 70% Syrah and the rest the other three grapes. It tips the scales at a lofty 15.3% alcohol, but it’s well hidden behind a cascade of blackberry and cassis fruit, roasted meats, steak tartare, licorice and Provençal herbs. It’s a big boy, and that’s exactly the way they want it."
91/100 & Editors Choice, Wine Enthusiast (Lot #3)
"Dark, dense, rich and spicy, this Rhone-style blend is impressively delicious. Full bodied, it's saturated with blackberry, cinnamon and black-pepper flavours supported by fine-grained tannins. While it packs a punch, it is well balanced for a big, assertive wine, and will be best after 2019. Ageing potential: Now through 2030."