This is the first year Marietta has produced this Cabernet Sauvignon from a south-facing vineyard perched at 1400 feet elevation overlooking the Yorkville Highlands. This small block of clone 6 Cabernet is cane pruned and yields "2 tons per acre in a good year via many insanely small open clusters". It was aged in neutral barrels for 20 months. Deep garnet-purple, the 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Game Trail displays a spicy nose of cloves, cinnamon and Sichuan pepper over a core of crème de cassis, dried Mediterranean herbs and black soil. Medium to full-bodied, rich and concentrated, the generous fruit is well supported by grainy tannins and a lively backbone, finishing with lingering mineral suggestions. (LPB)
An addition to the range, the Game Trail is 100% Cabernet from the Bilbro family's ranch in the Yorkville Highlands. Dark red stone fruit, rose petal, mint, floral notes and spice are beautifully delineated. Intensely aromatic and pungent, but with no green edges, the 2014 offers tons of personality and character. Beams of mountain tannin add energy throughout. I would give the 2014 at least a year or two in bottle, as the tannins are imposing at this stage. I was quite frankly blown away by the wines I tasted at Marietta this year. Brothers Scot and Jake Bilbro have decided to each concentrate on separate properties. In practical terms that means Scot is now running Marietta on his own, while Jake operates Limerick Lane. One of the recent developments at Marietta is that most of the wines are now vintage-dated, with the exception of the Old Vine, Marietta's flagship, which will remain a non-vintage blend, as it always has been. Aside from being absolutely delicious, these wines offer superb value to the consumer, something that is getting harder and harder to find. I can't recommend these wines highly enough. (AG)
Big and rich yet also complex and layered, this wine has an extremely dark color and spicy, floral, perfumed fruit flavors that spread out for a mouthfilling texture. Full bodied, fascinating and luscious, it hails from a high-elevation vineyard in Mendocino County. *Editors' Choice* (JG)
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2013 Chateau Ste. Michelle "Cold Creek Vineyard" Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon (Elsewhere $30)