18 February 2009

A Couple of Marietta Reds

The last time I tried the Lot series of Marietta was back in 2005, and it was only my second wine review on this site. I found myself thinking recently, "I really need to give that another shot." The idea kept bugging me, and I picked up a bottle a few days ago. Upon bringing it home, I threw it in the cellar, only to discover that a month ago I'd had the same idea and bought a bottle of the exact same wine.

First up in this Marietta review is the NV Marietta Old Vine Red Lot #47. $13, 13.5% abv, comprised of a proprietary blend of Zinfandel, Carignane, Petite Sirah, Syrah, and Cabernet Sauvignon.

I poured the bottle into a decanter (though I've used an iced tea pitcher in the past), and let it breathe for about two hours before tasting. Aromas of blackberries, plums, chocolate, with a lovely plum and pastry flavor. There's a lot of this dark berry, full-fruit business going on with red wines these days, but occasionally you get one that reminds you of a slice of toast and jam from your childhood, or of a plum tart eaten during the holidays.

I had it with a beef filet marinated in a chipotle sauce. Good and spicy while not overpowering the wine or the steamed vegetables.

Later I tried the 2004 Alexander Valley Petite Sirah, $17, 76% Petite Sirah, 22% Syrah, 2% Viognier. I was hanging out with my friend Paul, and I'll once again apologize for not only spilling a glass on his carpet but also breaking the glass in the process. OxyClean and a steam cleaner got it out--no product placement here, it was seriously like magic. Despite the staining qualities, this PS was quite nice. Light cinnamon nose, with strong tannins and a full bodied flavor. Full prune, blueberry, and leather, as well as that dark quality one comes to love in Petite Sirah... and hate on carpets.


The Wine Commonsewer said...

mmmmmm. Chipotle.

NoStar is a firm believer in decanting. I believe he decants every single bottle he ever drinks.

Benito said...


I tend to decant wines made from strong grapes, older wines, and those with high alcohol contents. Sometimes I just do it for the fun of it, but I always taste the wine when first opened and after however many hours of decanting.

If you ever get one of those cheap Cab Savs that are kind of like getting smacked in the face with a 2x4, then decanting can make it surprisingly drinkable.

Ramblin' Wino said...

I smiled when I read your post. The other day I was at an aquiantance's house drinking a glass of red wine from a Riedal glass. We moved over to his desk and sat down and I picked up the bottle and reached to pour him another glass but knocked over my glass instead,breaking it and spilling red wine everywhere. And then, came that horible awkwardnes and tension - I felt like a humilated little boy. I apologized,and insisted on buying him a new glass, he said don't worry, but I could tell he was upset. I didn't stick around long enough to see what he used to clean up with, but it made me determined, that when someone does something similar in my home, I will joke, and will do everything I can to make sure the the offender is immediately put at ease.

fredric koeppel said...

White wine only for you at my house.

Samantha Dugan said...

Another fan of decanting here, even with white and sometimes Champagne. The latter will lose some bubble for sure but when you have a really great base wine that you want to taste...gotta decant.

The spilling/breaking dealie blows, can make you feel pretty lame but lucky they had a steam cleaner! The last time this happened at my house, and my guest was feeling horrible, I took my glass and dumped my wine on top of their spill. Clean up was a pain but we laughed through the whole thing! No use crying over....well, you know.

The Wine Commonsewer said...

Oh, man, you broke a Riedel? Guess you're banished for the duration.

Seriously, that is a drag but don't let it get to you. You may have read him right, he may have been upset, but chances are he got past it. If he didn't, you're better off drinking wine with someone else.

The way I solve that problem is not to skip expensive glasses. Yes, I know, Riedel is what makes wine drinking worth it. None-the-less, I have dozens of very nice glasses for drinking red wine. They look elegant and expensive, but they aren't expensive. And they get broken. It is bound to happen, you can't control for it. I'd rather people didn't break them, but if they do, I make them feel at ease, immediately, which isn't hard to do because the glass didn't cost a week's pay.

On a similar and slightly diff note, a good friend broke my prized Thomas Jefferson (200th anniversary of Monticello) coffee cup. She felt like two cents waiting for change until I went to the closet and showed her that I had bought two identical cups. :-)

TWC said...

Preview is your friend TWC!

I meant, I skip the expensive glasses except for very special occasions.

Benito said...


You do have excellent taste in whites so it's not a total loss on my part. :)

Ramblin, TWC, Samantha,

Thanks for the words of support, and this is far from the most embarrassing situation I've been in. And for the record, it wasn't a Riedel, but Murphy's Law dictates that when your statistical number comes up and it's time for an epic spill, you're not going to have Pinot Grigio in the glass. No, it's going to be Ruby Port or Blackberry Liqueur or something.

Ramblin' Wino said...

Thanks for the encouragement TWC. Fredric- I'm thinking about banning ME from red wine at MY house. Samantha- That gesture of pouring out your glass too, was a true classic!!!