CALIFORNIA WINE PICK: Marietta Cellars | Petite Sirah | Alexander Valley | Sonoma Cnty | California | 2009 | $20 | 90 pts

Marietta PSMarietta Cellars was founded by owner/winemaker Chris Bilbro in 1979, just down the road from the little town of Geyserville, in Sonoma County. Over the years the winery has grown as an all-in-the-family affair, and today Chris makes Marietta’s wines with his son Scot. Together they crafted this inky-dark, dense, and delicious Petit Sirah.  Full-bodied and fruit-driven, the wine offers aromas of dried blueberries, fruit compote, and eucalyptus followed by flavors of blackberry, fig, and vanilla bean — all layered with earthy nuances of black pepper, sweet cured tobacco, and dried herbs.  The wine’s tannins are chewy — but not taut — and lively acids provide a refreshing counterbalance to the deep, savory fruit.  At around $20, this wine is an impeccable value, and given its high quality to price ratio, we highly recommend it. It also is distributed nationally, so for information on where you may find it locally, visit Marietta Cellars virtually at:  www.mariettacellars.com.

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