Marietta Estate Grown Christo Red Blend 2019, North Coast, California

Named and styled after Chris Bilbro, affectionately called ‘Christo’ by his great-aunt Marietta, this Rhone varietal blend is gentle but powerful, pleasurable but deep, and refined while raw. Marietta’s family series is an ode to the elements that have unified the family’s winemakers over time: family, hard work, passion, and a love for the creative process that is winemaking. The Syrah comes from the McDowell Valley estate, situated in a valley surrounded by mountains, benefits from the cold sink that ensure cools nights and preserves acidity and freshness. The Petite Sirah comes from the Angeli Estate vineyard in Alexander Valley and the Grenache comes from the Yorkville Highlands estate at 1,400 ft in elevation on the mountain pass between the Anderson Valley and the Alexander Valley. Winemaking: 65% Syrah is co-fermented with a small 3% of Viognier for aromatic lift and blended with 22% Grenache, and 10% Petite Sirah, then aged for 18 months in neutral barrels. Tasting notes: Violet, ripe plum, and sage combine to create an evocative nose with hints of charcuterie and iron-like minerality adding an undercurrent of wildness. On the palette, dried strawberries, dark chocolate and black tea richly coat every available surface leaving a chewiness that speaks to aging. Named and styled after Marietta’s founder, Chris Bilbro, this wine is a conundrum of opposites: extracted, intensely flavorful, yet somehow gentle and welcoming.