2014 Marietta "Gibson Block" McDowell Valley Syrah

SKU #1306841 94 points Wine Enthusiast

 Deep color and intense, deep fruit flavors along with a good tannic structure mark this full-bodied wine as one to appreciate and age. The texture is fine grained, dry and layered, with concentrated black cherry, smoke, clove and cedar flavors that unfold slowly on the palate and finish. While tempting now, this will be best after 2022. *Cellar Selection* (JG)  (12/2017)

93 points Vinous

 The 2014 Estate Syrah Gibson Block, a Syrah-based field blend, exudes depth and concentration. Black cherry, blackberry, cloves, leather and licorice give the wine its inner sweetness and textural richness, but there is also plenty of aromatic freshness and lift. Violet, camphor, savory herb and scorched earth give the wine a real sense of gravitas. 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)  (1/2017)

91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The Gibson Block is the heart of the McDowell Valley AVA and is planted with some of the oldest Syrah in California. Deep garnet-purple colored, it has intense blackberry and plum preserves notes on the nose with hints of bacon, black pepper and peach blossoms. The powerful, full-bodied palate delivers generous black fruit coulis flavors with plenty of spice layers and a firm, chewy backbone, finishing long with a refreshing lift. (LPB)  (4/2017)

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Staff Image By: Stephanie Vidales | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 4/26/2018 | Send Email
If there's anyone who knows old vines, it's Marietta Cellars. Second generation winemaker/owner Jake Bilbo has taken the skills learned from his father and UC Davis education to craft high quality wines at a very affordable price. ​The Gibson Block is a powerful Syrah that's dark fruited with a touch of savoriness. This wine spends a year and a half in neutral barrels, so barrel treatment is not overpowering the old vine fruit. This is a fantastic value for Syrah that shouldn't be missed!

Staff Image By: Ryan Woodhouse | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 4/23/2018 | Send Email
A big wine with immense depth and power. Coming from some of the oldest Syrah vines in the country, expertly crafted by folks at Marrietta who really specialize in old vine bottlings. Palate staining, inky wine. Dark, smoky fruits, plum, wild blackberry, meaty aromas flow from the glass. The palate is saturated and fleshy but well balanced with savory tannins and earthy tinges. Just begging for grilled meats. An exceptional value.
Top Value!

Staff Image By: Christina Stanley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 3/9/2018 | Send Email
The 2014 Marietta Cellars Gibson Block McDowell Valley Syrah comes from a formidable heritage. Dry farmed, and located in a prime, central plot in the McDowell AVA, the Syrah is produced from vines planted in the 1940's, originating from clonal material from the 1890's. Uniquely fruited aromas of ripe apricot and blackberry are rooted by more savory notes of chaparral, rocky minerality and black pepper. The palate is lavish, plush and fruit dominated, but has a chewy, pleasantly mouth coating tannin that is a nod to the rustic wines of old California.

Additional Information:



- One of France's noblest black grape varieties, Syrah is known for its intense and distinctive perfume reminiscent of briar fruit, tar, spice and black pepper and its firm structure. One of few black grape varietals frequently vinified on its own, the best examples of Syrah come from the Northern Rhône, particularly Hermitage, but also Côte-Rôtie, Cornas, Crozes-Hermitage and St-Joseph. These wines are very astringent in their youth, though some Crozes-Hermitage and St-Joseph can be enjoyed young, relatively speaking. Given the requisite patience, though, these wines can reveal amazing complexity and secondary fruit characteristics like plum and blackcurrant as well as subtle hints of smoke and flowers. In the Southern Rhône, Syrah is used to add structure and complexity to wines dominated by Grenache and complemented by Mourvèdre, like the more immediately drinkable Côte du Rhônes, as well as the long-lived wines of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. In recent years, plantings of Syrah have spread throughout the Languedoc-Roussillon where it is produced on its own or blended with other varietals. Outside of France, the most important Syrah growing country is easily Australia, where it is called Shiraz. Quality levels here depend greatly on yields and geography, and the wines range from bold, fruity and easy-drinking to intense and ageable, like the famed Penfolds Grange. Often bottled on its own, in Australia Syrah is also can be blended with Grenache and Mourvèdre, as in the Southern Rhône, and is increasingly combined with Cabernet Sauvignon. Syrah has also been steadily increasing in popularity in California, thanks to a group of advocates called the Rhône Rangers. Its most successful iterations come from the Central and Sonoma Coasts, where winemakers are pushing boundaries and creating some incredible wines. In recent years Syrah has also found a number of proponents in Washington State, which is definitely a region to watch for this variety.

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world.


- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year.
Specific Appellation:

Anderson Valley/Mendocino

- Cooled by the nearby ocean and the seemingly omnipresent bank of oceanic fog, this picturesque wine region is home to a wealth of cool-climate grapes like riesling and gewürztraminer plus chardonnay and pinor noir, which are responsible for impressive and intense sparkling wines.
Alcohol Content (%): 15.3