“In short, our wines sell because of what’s in the bottle” – from the back of the bottle on any Old Vine Red from Marietta.
The wine world can be a very overwhelming place. Between keeping up with point scores from a variety of magazines and which years yielded the best grapes from each region, one can easily become lost in a whole load of crap that has no bearing on the most important aspect of enjoying wine; whether or not one likes to drink it.
I was introduced to this family owned operation at a dinner a few years back, trying their Old Vine Red, Lot Number 47. I was surprised to find that there were no specific percentages of which grape varietals were used (the bottles states that the blend is “predominantly comprised of Zinfandel,” a very traditional California grape that produces bold and exciting wine) and no vintage. I then recieved the spiel on this rather inexpensive ($11-$14) and unassuming bottle, learning that Marietta Cellars will just blend their harvest of grapes together, under the care of the father who started the winery and his 4 sons,and out comes a fantastic wine for the price.
I have been drinking Old Vine Red since Lot Number 47 (they just released Lot 54 in February 2011) and you can always find a bottle in my collection. Each release is a bit different in terms of specific flavors, for example, I found 51 and 52 a lot spicier and less full bodied than the 53 sitting next to me. That being said, every release that I have tried has been very smooth and has gone well with almost any meal that one can imagine, specifically pasta dishes with tomato based sauces and flavorful meats. Old Vine Red has never disappointed me and my guests are always suprised that it is so great and inexpensive but they haven’t heard of it.
Cheers to you, Chris Bilbro. Not only do you have bro in your name, but you consistently produce a fantastic and affordable wine. You can read more about the beliefs and principles that govern the operation of Marietta Cellars here.