Chris Bilbro was one of California wine’s unsung heroes. He founded and grew Marietta Cellars into one of the preeminent producers of excellent value, honestly made California wine. Although his son Scot now runs the winery (Chris sadly passed away last year), the wines are as good as they’ve ever been—delicious, gutsy wines that deliver exceptional value at all prices. These are fantastic wines from their sub-$20 Zinfandel and Cabernet bottlings all the way through their “Gibson Block” Syrah, which hails from a parcel of Syrah planted in the 1880’s and still producing (tiny quantities) of fruit today.
We have an assortment of their current releases in stock now, all of which have the high scores and critical praise you’d expect from much, much more expensive wines.
In Stock Now:
Antonio Galloni 94 points ‘The 2017 Zinfandel Angeli, from a site in Alexander Valley, is rich, pliant and expressive. Super-ripe black cherry, hard candy, new leather, lavender and mint give the Angeli decidedly dark shades of expression. This sumptuous, flavorful Zinfandel should drink well for another decade or more.”
Marietta Cellars ‘Game Trail’ Cabernet Sauvignon, Yorkville Highlands 2016 750ML ($39.95) $33 special
Antonio Galloni 94 points “Marietta’s 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Game Trail is powerful, dark and quite savory. Smoke, tobacco, gravel, menthol, cedar and licorice all run through this bold, pungent mountain Cabernet. There is quite a bit of aromatic intensity to play off the blackberry fruit in this strapping young wine. Give it a few years in bottle for the tannins to soften.”
Marietta Cellars Gibson Block Syrah, McDowell Valley 2016 750ML ($39.95) $33 special
Antonio Galloni 95 points “The 2016 Syrah Estate Gibson Block is the star of this range from Marietta. From a dry-farmed site planted in the 1880s, the Gibson Block is powerful, sumptuous and racy to the core. A whole range of complementary varieties give the Gibson Block striking inner perfume and lift to play off the intense dark fruit, while silky tannins add to the wine’s racy, inviting personality.”
Marietta Cellars Arme Estate Cabernet, North Coast 2016 750ML ($24.95) $19 special
Antonio Galloni 92 points “The 2016 Armé is another superb wine in the middle tier of the Marietta range. Fresh, savory and super-expressive, the Armé has a lot going on. Black cherry, sage, lavender, menthol and licorice give the wine striking savory nuance to play off the dark Cabernet Sauvignon fruit. More than anything else, though, the Armé is a superb value in California Cabernet.”
Wine Enthusiast 92 points “Editor’s Choice. Saturated with opulent black-fruit flavors and moderately tannic, this wine is big but polished and complex. It shows little obvious oakiness, but rather feels shaped by oak aging until it was velvety and firm. Enjoyable now with something roasted or braised, this wine will drink best after 2022.”
Marietta Cellars ‘Christo’ Rhone Blend 2016 750ML ($21.95) $17 special
Antonio Galloni 93 points “The 2016 Christo, Marietta’s Syrah-based blend, is terrific. Black cherry, chocolate, leather, licorice and spice give the wine much of its dark, brooding feel. Powerful and intense, but with good freshness, the 2016 is wonderfully complete and absolutely delicious.”
Marietta Cellars ‘Roman’ Estate Grown Zinfandel, North Coast 2017 750ML ($21.95) $18 special
Antonio Galloni 91 points “The 2017 Román is a gorgeous, Zinfandel-based blend from Marietta that offers sweet floral notes and bright, red-toned berry flavors. Medium-bodied and refreshing, the 2017 is delicious, fun and easy to drink. I loved it.”