Marietta 2021 "Angeli" Zinfandel
Once a component of the multi-site blended Angeli Cuvée, this estate Zinfandel vineyard long stood out for its brilliance, clarity, and purity of flavor. Now, showcased on its own, it speaks volumes about this unique little canyon off Alexander Valley known as Angeli Ranch. The halo-like image on the label pays homage to Viola Angeli, who sold the Angeli Ranch to Chris Bilbro in an angelic act that mirrors her name.
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.
Grapes for the 2021 Angeli Zinfandel are picked in three passes. Proprietor Scot Bilbro notes that Zinfandel's naturally varying levels of ripeness can lead to raisiny flavors if all the grapes are picked at a higher brix. "If you bring Zinfandel in over 25 brix, that means the juice inside is at 25, but the skins have a lot more sugar, and the level will go up to 28 or more," he explains. "So, we pick at 23, 24 and just shy of 25. You can enable the wine to show off layers with those different picks." This strategy led to a gorgeous Angeli in 2021 that is incredibly expressive and perfumed. Blueberry, boysenberry and blackberry give way to wafts of graphite, gobs of violet and even touches of tangerine. The medium to full-bodied palate explodes with concentrated fruit and expansive layers of floral perfume and spice. It has a powdery frame, bursts of mouthwatering acidity and a very long, nuanced finish.