Browse Tag


Georgia on my mind

Marietta “Old Vine Red Lot Number 56” (California) – Year after year (well, it’s true that I don’t drink it every years, anymore), this keeps chugging along as a big burst of succulent mixed berries. Big, bold, Californian: yes. Tastes more crafted than did its teen expressions, or that may just be my changing palate. But I’d have to work up a certain philosophical curmudgeonliness to reject it, and it doesn’t seem worth the effort. It’s a fun, representatively California party wine. (7/12)


Marietta “Old Vine Red Lot Number 47” (California) – Juicy, gummy-fruit fun. Like wine soda, without the actual carbonation. (12/09)

The 47 Society

Marietta “Old Vine Red Lot Number 47” (California) – It’s hard to say if this perennial blend lives up to its ancestors’ reputation (the oldest I’ve tasted was, if I remember correctly, the 18, though not in its youth), because it seems difficult to see the appeal of holding it long enough to find out. Big but not overblown California berry fruit, with a bit of softening in the cellar and a good measure of approachability. And that’s really all there is to say about it. (1/09)


Marietta 2005 Zinfandel (Sonoma County) – 15.3%. Stylistically and varietally anonymous, but I don’t think this wine has aspirations to anything else. A bit heavy and alcohol-laden, and though the latter isn’t expressed as heat so much as it is sheer palate-deadening weight, I’ve certainly tasted brawnier and more whiskey-like wines. There’s a good deal of fruit, of both small- and large-berry varieties, but they too are rather gravity-stricken. Maybe some age might help, but I’m not convinced it has the structure to support it. (12/08)

Cheval Blanc (uh, not really)

Marietta “Old Vine Red Lot Number 47” (California) – Pleasant enough, but in this incarnation this perennial value (no longer quite so cheap, though) tastes like dry gnarly-vine syrup, with a few tiny berries grudgingly giving up their freshness. Not Marietta’s best effort. (10/08)

Little Marie

[label]Marietta 2005 Zinfandel (Sonoma County) – 15.3%. A little hot and sticky, with fire-roasted dark berries, twisted and wild, in a forest of slightly charred trees. There’s a lot of flavor here, but it’s formless, and at the core is…not much. (6/08)


[label]Marietta “Old Vine Red Lot Number Thirty-Five” (California) – Somewhat beyond mature, but still hanging in there, with crisp red fruit, rich soil dust, and a tinny enclosure of structure. It needs quiet, but it’s still a decent drink. (11/07)

It’s me, Margaret

JB Cellars 2005 “Margaret Anne” Arneis/Tocai Friuliano (Mendocino) – Made by Marietta. It’s clean, pure fun, with intense sauvignon-like greenery (but on the ripe side) aromatized by a perfumed, almost lush top note of freshly-crushed lilies. Really, really nice. (8/07)

Level 42

Marietta “Old Vine Red Lot Number Forty-Two” (California) – Juicy, zinnish berry flavors and a slightly grittier wild vine and gravel foundation mark this fruity and generally affable wine; it’s no fruit bomb, but it is fun, and the acidity’s a welcome thing in an inexpensive California red. (8/07)