94 Point-Rated Red Blend: Marietta Cellars Old Vine Red Lot #71

94 Point-Rated Red Blend: Marietta Cellars Old Vine Red Lot #71

Not only did the Marietta Old Vine Red Lot #71 score 94 points with Robert Parker's Wine Advocate, it also comes to you at less than $15. All I can say is BACK UP THE TRUCK! We bought our distributor's last 14 cases of this one -- once those are gone, we move to Lot #72.

For over 40 years, the Bilbro family have been making this delicious, ripe, and spicy, Zinfandel-based blend. The current bottling is the best I've ever tasted from them, and at less than 15 bucks, this stuff is going to be gone in no time. 

Marietta Cellars Old Vine Red Lot #71

Marietta Cellars Old Vine Red Lot #71

94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

Lot #71 is now sold out. Click here to view and order Lot #72 in our online store.

Let's start with that Wine Advocate review, as it will give you a perfect sense of what's in the bottle. "Deep ruby-purple in color, the NV Old Vine Red Lot 71 has bright black cherry on the nose, with accents of fresh tobacco leaves, wood smoke iron and potpourri. Medium-bodied, grainy and fresh, it has spicy, mineral-laced fruit and a long, lifted finish. I love this wine for its full flavor, juicy appeal and sensitive price point."

An old school field blend based primarily on Zinfandel with smaller amounts of Carignane, Syrah, Petite Sirah and a few Italian varietals, this is about as honest and real as wine gets. It's incredibly hard to find anything negative to say about this wine, so I'm not going to. It's perfect for all sorts of occasions, from everyday sipping to meals involving grilled foods.

Founded in 1979 by Chris Bilbro and inspired by his Aunt Marietta’s good home cooking, hard work, and honesty, Marietta Cellars continues to be a family run affair. These days, Chris’s son Scott runs the operation with same passion as his father.

For many years, all of the grapes for Marietta’s Old Vine was purchased from various grape growers, but today the family owns over 400 acres scattered throughout Sonoma and Mendocino Counties. With such vast acreage under their watch, the Bilbros are able to select the best fruit each year to maintain consistency and quality in this wine.

So what’s this Marietta Old Vine like? It pours a deep and dark color and the nose is ripe, rustic, spicy and hearty — it always reminds me a bit of a really good Southern Italian red (think Salice Salentino or Primitivo). With an array of dark berry flavors along with a healthy dose of black pepper and roasted herb, the wine is full bodied but opulent, smooth in texture, and easy to drink.

Like I said before, this is a wine that drinks just fine without food, but do yourself a favor and try it with your favorite barbecue — chicken, pork, or beef. You’ll thank me!

Lot #71 is now sold out. Click here to view and order Lot #72 in our online store.

Josh Spurling
Owner, Operator, Wine Monger
Table Wine Asheville