Marietta Cellars

Game Trail Cabernet Sauvignon 2019

Yorkville Highlands, California

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The Yorkville Highlands are the mountain pass between the north end of Alexander Valley and the west end of Anderson Valley. From a high elevation site 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 purity and wildness.

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 small block of Cabernet Sauvignon used for the Game Trail Cabernet is perched looking south from 1,400 feet elevation up on the ridge. Coastal influence and large diurnal swings create small berries, thick skins, deep pigmentation, and tons of structure. Clone 6 Cabernet sets sparingly with berries the size of blueberries and no fruit to fruit contact, so it is cane pruned and left to hang as many clusters as possible.

Winemaking

Fermented in stainless steel tanks and barrel aged in neutral French oak barrels for 20 months before bottling.

Vintage

The 2019 Harvest brought another fantastic year of smooth weather with a slow-paced, even-growing season. Temperatures were a bit cooler than average, leading to picking a week or so later than typical norms. Fire showed up in late October adding to the stress of the season, however, our grapes were picked by then. The wines show great depth, measured ripeness, and wonderful retained freshness.

Tasting Note

Red currant and blackberries jump from the glass and are balanced by supporting aromas of pinon pine and anise. This textural adventure moves from chewy to fine grained tannins to finish cleanly with a refreshingly focused fore mouth. The palate mixes the exuberance of blueberry jam with the mineral dustiness of crushed gravel. Evocative and ethereal while also structural and impactful, this is a Cabernet that develops in the glass and will yield years of beautiful expressions.

Food Pairing

This wine begs for grilled asparagus, roasted mushrooms, and blistered tomatoes with boar collar or a rib roast.

Color

Red

Grape Varieties

Cabernet Sauvignon

Appellation

Yorkville Highlands, California

Farming

The Game Trail Cabernet Sauvignon 2019 is made from 100% estate fruit, all of which is organically farmed

Alcohol

14.9%

Suggested Retail Price

$42

Reviews

"Bright sparks of acidity"

Wine Advocate - July 15, 2022 "Medium ruby-purple, the 2019 Game Trail Cabernet Sauvignon features scents of blackcurrant and blackcurrant bud, chocolate, star anise, iron and violet. Powerful yet fresh, the full-bodied palate has loads of grainy tannins and bright sparks of acidity highlighting its floral perfume. It has mineral-streaked fruits and a long, layered finish with singular wafts of incense." - E.B 7/22

Trade Materials

Other Wines by this Producer

Gibson Block Syrah

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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.

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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.

Nadi Riesling 2021

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This Dry Riesling comes from a special vineyard named Wirz in the Cienega Valley appellation inland of Monterey, California. These old, dry farmed, head pruned vines produce a small but concentrated crop. The second oldest Riesling in California, this block was planted in 1964.

Nadi Riesling

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This Dry Riesling comes from a special vineyard in the Cienega Valley appellation inland of Monterey, California. These old, dry farmed, head pruned vines produce a small but concentrated crop. The second oldest Riesling in California, this block was planted in 1964.

Román Zinfandel

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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.

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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.

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