This pack's theme is wines from old vines. Old vines refer to the age of vines that produce grapes, typically older than 40 years. Wines made from old vines deserve a special attention because flavors will be much more concentrated, due to the fact that old vines produce much less fruits than their younger counterparts. Smaller fruit yield = higher concentration of flavors per grape and in your wine.
1. Palazzone "Grek" - White from Central Italy: This is made from 100% Grechetto from Orvieto, Umbria from vineyards planted in the 1980s. This wine shows of ripe pear and white floral notes in addition to strong concentration of minerality that would pair great with cooked shellfish.
2. Santo Assyrtiko - White from Santorini, Greece: This wine is made from 100% assyrtiko grape from the island of Santorini (yes that island that is so ubiquitous on IG with their white roofs and blue sea). Santorini as an appellation boasts one of the oldest average age for vines: vines younger than 50 years old are considered young and most vines are between 70-100 years old. This creates one of the most concentrated white wines that shows flavors of lemon rind, pineapple in addition to zippy minerality. Pair this with oysters or aged cheese.
3. Saint Cosme Cote du Rhone - This wine made from 100% Syrah is an anomaly from Southern Rhone, where most winemakers blend between 2-3 grapes to create their signature wines, Cote du Rhone. While this is perhaps the youngest of the vines of the pack, do not let this fool you. Dark and twisted Syrah will show black peppers, violets and dark berries. This would pair very well with any kind of meat dish that comes with a sauce or strong spices, whether steak with peppers, any lamb or game meat.
4. Viña Alberdi Reserva - Rioja from Spain: This wine is made with 100% tempranillo from vines planted in the 1960s. By Spanish government law, reserva wine from Rioja has to be aged minimum 2 years: Vina Alberdi was aged 1 year in new American oak and 1 year in neutral American oak to acquire the typical cedar and vanillla notes on the nose. On the palate, there is plenty of red fruits (raspberry, strawberry and plums). This is one of the most versatile red wines out there. It's easier to list what it would NOT pair with, such as spicy food and food in salty broth.
5. Old Vine Rosé - California Rose: This is a blend of 50% syrah and 50% grenache that comes from old vines older than 30 years. The remarkable thing about the Marietta Cellars is that they actually own all their vineyards instead of sourcing their grapes due to their family history. I love this wine that shows strawberry and grapefruit zing, which would be perfect while on the backyard or on the patio. Poolside or beach pairs very well with this.
6. Old Vine Red Blend - California Red Blend: This is the wine that put Marietta Cellars on the map of wine lovers in the US and abroad. This blend is a proprietary blend that changes with each batch but Zinfandel, Syrah and Grenache to create a wine that shows dark fruits enveloped in mint, mocha and mild tannin.