Marietta California Old Vine Red Lot No. 31 ($10.00)
Made "in the tradition" of old-style field blends, Marietta's Old Vine Red is not issued with a vintage year, but rather a "Lot Number," each batch varying somewhat from its predecessors. The current Lot No. 31 consists of 60 percent Zinfandel, 25 percent Carignane, 10 percent Petite Sirah and 5 percent Cabernet Sauvignon from old-vine patches in several California regions. Very dark reddish-purple in color, it shows perfumed "dusty" aromas with plummy fruit and grace notes of pepper and spice. Warm and mouth-filling flavors focus on black plums and a hint of sweet brown sugar from the oak, with a tart edge of acidity gaining presence in the finish. I find the Zinfandel character muted, but the wine is full and textured, a "Mediterranean-style" red from the New World. US Importer: (Jul 3, 2003)

FOOD MATCH: Fine with red meat or picnic fare; it was an excellent match with juicy lamb-and-beef burgers.

WEB LINK: http://www.mariettacellars.com/

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