Marietta Cellars

Angeli Zinfandel 2018

Alexander Valley, California

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Once a component of the Angeli Cuvée, this Zinfandel long stood out for its brilliance, clarity, and leanness. Now, showcased on its own, it speaks volumes about this unique little canyon off Alexander Valley known as Angeli Ranch. The halo-like image on the label pays homage to Viola Angeli, who sold the Angeli Ranch to Chris Bilbro in an angelic act that mirrors her name.

The estate series from Marietta is made with terroir in mind above all else. For many years these sites were included in blends, though they routinely stood out as extraordinary. These wines are true expressions of unique sites, crafted with freshness, tension and longevity in mind.

Vineyard

The Angeli Ranch was sold to Chris Bilbro in 1990 by Viola Angeli, whose family had originally settled the land in 1886. When Viola was ready to sell the property, she offered it to Chris Bibro because he had purchased the grapes from the ranch for many years and always visited with Viola regularly. 35 acres of vineyards connect gravel swales from the Russian River to terraced knolls invisible from the valley floor. The Angeli Zinfandel takes its name from the homesteading family and exemplifies the cool effect of these unique vineyards in a bright, tense, and stony expression of Zinfandel.

Winemaking

A unique approach of cool fermentations and 12 months of neutral barrel aging emphasize freshness in the Angeli Zinfandel.

Vintage

The 2018 Harvest was a grower’s dream, but it was not without its exciting moments. Spring rains encouraged healthy roots and set up great canopies. The fruit set and cluster development did not disappoint. Then August and September clocked in as mild, bordering on cool. Quite a bit of lovely, perfectly ripe fruit was harvested in September. Early October rains soaked the second half of the crop and elicited fears of rot and lost fruit as more storms lined up. Miraculously, the storms failed to materialize, allowing for a long, dry October and November with beautiful sunny days which slowly ripened the remaining crop. Long seasons like these allow early tannin maturation while the cool weather protects the acid…. all leading to developed, powerful tannins with bright acid at lower than typical brix. To top it off, it was a banner crop year!

Tasting Note

From the Angeli vineyard in Alexander Valley, this is pure Zinfandel. These vines are grown in a large gravel swale that was the former Russian River prior to streambed migration. July and August fires blew straight east from Mendocino and there was no exposure in Alexander Valley. The rainy, late start to the season and cool summer temperatures meant harvest started on September 19, the latest in years. The slow season meant great tannin and color at early Brix. Harvested at multiple Brix levels between 23.5 and 25, this wine balances white pepper, tart pomegranate, and silky opulence while still feeling focused and linear.

Food Pairing

An excellent foil to charred scallions, leg of lamb, and rosemary-scented potatoes, or as a more sturdy accompaniment to a creamy chocolate dessert.

Color

Red

Grape Varieties

Zinfandel

Appellation

Alexander Valley, California

Farming

The Angeli Zinfandel 2018 is made from 100% estate fruit, all of which is organically farmed

Alcohol

14.7%

Suggested Retail Price

$37

Reviews

"Overdelivers on its price point"

Wine Enthusiast - Editors Choice "With Petite Sirah and Syrah, this red impresses and overdelivers on its price point, packing in tons of textured, supple flavor and juicy acidity. Full bodied, it brims in brambly blackberry, cherry and plum, with a lasting sweetness of vanilla and baking spice."   

"Dark, sumptuous and super-expressive"

Vinous Media (91-94) - "Marietta's 2018 Zinfandel Angeli is dark, sumptuous and super-expressive. Inky dark plum, blueberry, mint, spice, lavender and licorice infuse the 2018 with striking depth and character. Readers will find a powerful Zinfandel with the structure and personality to age gracefully for many years."   

Trade Materials

Other Wines by this Producer

Old Vine Red

California, United States

Affectionately known as "OVR," Marietta's Old Vine Red is a proprietary red wine made to replicate the field blends of the old vineyards in Sonoma and Mendocino counties. A groundbreaking combination of grape varitieis and multiple vintages first produced in 1982, this wine has blazed the path for red blends for decades. With an historic underground following, it is one of the longest lasting and best known red blends produced today. Predominantly comprised of Zinfandel, Old Vine Red combines pure fruit, a supple mouth feel and a rich, solid structure.

Old Vine Rosé

California, United States

Marietta's Old Vine Rosé is a perfect extension of the Old Vine series. Made in a Provençale, direct-press style from some of the oldest Syrah and Grenache vines in California, it is fresh, nuanced, and perfectly balanced to enjoy with food or on its own. As always with the "OVR" wines, it delivers a lot more substance and pleasure than you could expect.

Old Vine Riesling

California, United States

Marietta's Old Vine Riesling is the most recent and unique extension of the Old Vine series (or "OVR"). Originally intended as a gift for Scot's partner, Lisa, who is German, the bone dry style of Riesling became a fan favorite and permanent addition. While it is the only wine is the lineup that is not estate grown, it comes from some of California's oldest Riesling vines and offers an extraordinary value and delightful drinking experience.

Román Zinfandel

North Coast, California

Named after cellarmaster Román Cisneros who has worked at Marietta for over 32 years, this Estate Zinfandel is from the Angeli estate vineyard in Alexander Valley and the McDowell Valley estate vineyard. One of the grape varieties that Marietta is famous for, this wine captures the bright, juicy character of Zinfandel, and hearkens to an era before dark, thick and oaky styles of Zinfandel took hold.

Armé Cabernet Sauvignon

North Coast, California

Named after Armé, the husband of Marietta and great-great uncle of Owner/Winemaker Scot Bilbro, this Cabernet Sauvignon conveys a taut freshness and aromatic purity. Stylistically balanced between modern California and Old World, this wine is dense with fresh, dark fruit and tempered with a savory, earthy character. The dry fly on the label is a reference to Chris Bilbro's long family history of fishing with his great uncle Armé along the waterways that now adjoin the three estate vineyards.

Christo Red Blend

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. An ode to Scot's father and founder of Marietta Cellars, this blend is largely Syrah from the McDowell estate, blended with Petite Sirah from the Angeli Estate and Grenache from the Yorkville Highlands Estate. The pig snout on the label is a reminder of how Chris Bilbro made wild boar sausage and carted his creations around the country to share with chefs and wine lovers alike as he sold Marietta wines.

Game Trail Cabernet Sauvignon

Yorkville Highlands, California

From a high elevation site in the Yorkville Highlands with coastal influence and large diurnal shifts, the Game Trail Cabernet offers an intense, fragrant, savory, and fresh style of Cabernet that speaks of site and demands to be paired with food. This area, with trails worn by mushroom hunters and wild game that travel through the woods, was a refuge for Chris Bilbro, who hunted here and searched for Chanterelles. The mushroom on the label is a tribute to this unique place and its significance.

Gibson Block Syrah

McDowell Valley, California

Made from the oldest Syrah vines in California, in the heart of the McDowell Valley AVA, this wine reflects the hidden property where it is grown - quiet, obscure and profound. This ancient, dry farmed, mixed block next to the original Gibson Homestead has been producing grapes for over a hundred years. Limited in production due to the unique grape source, this wine is built to enjoy with food.