Syrah Nirvana: 2019 Marietta Cellars 'Gibson Block' Syrah

Syrah Nirvana: 2019 Marietta Cellars 'Gibson Block' Syrah

Is Marietta's Gibson Block Syrah the finest value of its type being produced in California today? I say yes. Is it the finest Syrah value in the world? I think one could make a strong argument for that case. You be the judge, but I think this deserves mention alongside the top Syrahs produced anywhere in the world.

The 2019 vintage of this wine just received a 95 point score from Robert Parker's Wine Advocate, and I snagged my distributor's last ten 6-packs of this one. If you want to experience a mammoth wine made from the oldest Syrah vines in the country, you're going to want to act fast on this one. Once those 60 bottles are gone, we'll be waiting until the 2021 vintage is released, as Marietta did not make this wine in 2020 due to smoke issues.

2019 Marietta Cellars 'Gibson Block' Syrah 

95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate, 95 points James Suckling 

ORDER NOW in our online store. 

Let's start the discussion with that review from Robert Parker's Wine Advocate. "Deep ruby-purple, the 2019 Gibson Block Syrah has a core of cassis and soaring violet perfume with accents of coffee beans, dark chocolate, aniseed and mint. The full-bodied palate is powerful and concentrated with broody, iron-laced fruits, pleasantly chewy tannins and bright freshness elevating floral perfume on the finish." Yep, this is an action-packed bottle of wine!

The fruit for this wine comes from Marietta’s own McDowell Valley estate, which is home to the oldest Syrah plantings in the United States. These 100+ year old, gnarled vines stand some six feet tall, are head trained, and dry farmed. This vineyard, in a valley surrounded by mountains, benefits from cold gathering on the valley floor, which ensures cools nights and preserves acidity and freshness. This unique vineyard aspect combined with the age of vines is also what gives this wine its impressive structure and longevity.

Gibson Block

As good as this wine is, the folks behind it are even better. For 40+ years, Marietta Cellars has been run by the Bilbro family. Founded by Chris Bilbro in 1978, his goal was to bring an affordable, honest, and delicious wine to American consumers, and he succeeded with his Marietta Old Vine. Chris passed away in 2019, but his son Scott continues the good work started by his dad. I got the chance to have lunch with Scott in Healdsburg a few years back, and he is about as "salt of the earth" as they come. Friendly, humble, hard-working.....the founding principles of Marietta are alive and well with him. 

I could go on and on and on about how much I love this wine and this producer, but I think you get the point. Great people, special vineyards, and wines that punch well above their "price class." Get some before it's gone!

ORDER NOW in our online store. 

Josh Spurling
Owner, Operator, Wine Monger
Table Wine Asheville