The Old Vine Red Lot 72, the seventy-second rendition of this lovely blend, is dominated by Zinfandel, Petite Sirah and Syrah. Always meant as a boisterous, exuberant Mediterranean-style red, the likes of which are easy to find in parts of Spain, Southern Italy and Southern France.
Marietta Cellars is located just outside the little town of Geyserville in one of California's premier wine growing regions, 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.
Winery notes (Lot 72 NV)
"OVR Lot Number 72 is bright and juicy, with strawberry and black raspberry supported by savoury notes of briar and slate. Fruity and fresh Zinfandel is given added complexity and length by barrel aged Syrah and Petite Sirah. A touch of Grenache and Barbera add a more complex red fruit character and hint of red licorice and white pepper."
92/100 James Suckling (Lot 72 NV)
"A ripe, juicy red with blackberry, mushroom, old-bark and tobacco character. Woody and tarry. Some moss, too. Full-bodied with round tannins and a flavourful finish. Mostly zinfandel. Real red. Drink now."
Reviews for previous wines…
90/100 Jeb Dunnuck, June 2018 (Lot 68 NV)
"A multi-vintage and variety blend (neither the vintage nor the varieties were listed), the Lot 68 Old Vine Red is deep ruby-coloured 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."
89/100 & Best Buy, Wine Enthusiast (Lot 65 NV)
"This great-value wine proves that a vintage date is not always needed for high-quality. Drenched with fruit flavour and nicely thick in texture, this full-bodied wine is not overly tannic, so it's easy to appreciate. It shows ripe black cherry and blackberry flavours, with smoky, meaty accents that come out on the second and third sips."
Robert Parker's The Wine Advocate, October 2016 (Lot 65 NV)
"For many years I have been touting the old-vine red put together by Marietta cellars as one of the great values in all of winedom. I got to taste two of the old-vine reds, Lot 64 and Lot 65, and there is no reason to change my opinion… As for the NV Old Vine Red Lot 65, this was bottled right before I tasted it and again contains lots of Zinfandel, Syrah, Petite Sirah and other varieties such as Montepulciano and Barbera. This is delicious, concentrated and spicy with loads of roasted herbs, black cherry, briary berry fruit, pepper and meatiness. This medium-bodied, lusty wine was aged 60% in stainless steel and 40% in neutral oak."