2016 Marietta "Game Trail" Estate Yorkville Highlands Cabernet Sauvignon

SKU #1418580 94 points Vinous

 Marietta's 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Game Trail is powerful, dark and quite savory. Smoke, tobacco, gravel, menthol, cedar and licorice all run through this bold, pungent mountain Cabernet. There is quite a bit of aromatic intensity to play off the blackberry fruit in this strapping young wine. Give it a few years in bottle for the tannins to soften.  (5/2019)

K&L Notes

Winemaker's Notes: "This south-facing vineyard overlooks the Yorkville Highlands at 1400 feet elevation on a ridge heading out towards the ocean. This Cabernet Sauvignon is always a test of our patience. In 2016 the growing season was cool, which is lovely for fruit quality, but made these grapes take quite a while to ripen. This mild but long vintage rewarded our patience with a wine of intense tannic structure and pure flavors while still preserving elegance. Coastal influence, warm days and rocky hillsides combine to create a Cabernet Sauvignon with extraordinary intensity and clarity. Much like the air out at the Yorkville ranch, this wine is fresh and bright. This wine is sizable and will age for decades, but has a gorgeous, perfumed elegance that is accessible now. The Game Trail is 100% Cabernet from the Bilbro family’s ranch in the Yorkville Highlands."

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Price: $29.95

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Product Reviews:

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By: Neal Fischer | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/16/2019 | Send Email
Goodness. This Cab immediately bursts with crazy perfume and floral aromatics, giving way to leather and forest floor, then very dark fruits. This wine is heavy and serious. On the palate there's just ALL of the berries and black fruit. It's earthy and dusty with dope tannins that will grip you for days. I think this wine is a huge win for Cali Cab drinkers that will also impress Bordeaux fans as well.

By: Stefanie Juelsgaard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/11/2019 | Send Email
There is a lot more power and structure to this wine than I expected. I can see why my colleague Ryan Woodhouse thought it would pass for a Howell Mountain Cab. I have always been a fan of the Marietta wines, but am used to drinking the more fruit-forward Zin's and Rhone blends. This is great new side of the winery for me to explore and I will definitely make sure this is put in front of as many customers as possible, especially at this price point. In a world where CA Cab has become crazy expensive, this a refreshing and fantastic find!
Top Value!

By: Jordan Stone | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/10/2019 | Send Email
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Wow! Medium bodied with round flavors of cassis, blackberry and raspberry. polished and balanced. Some light tannin present. Nice integrated wood spice. Long dark and lightly spiced finish. Just great. unbelievable Cab for $30. I would like to see how this develops over the next few years. Drinkable now.
Drink from 2019 to 2025

By: Ryan Woodhouse | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/10/2019 | Send Email
Tasted blind this wine could pass for a $100+ bottle of Howell Mountain Cab. And I say that in all sincerity and admiration. The wine has formidable concentration and power. Black and blue fruit, cassis, liquored blackberry, graphite, pencil shaving and singed cedar. The fruit is bold and delicious, it has mouth-coating texture, fine, long-chain tannins and wonderful purity of varietal expression. The quality here so far out-performs the modest price point it's ridiculous. A very special wine I implore you to try, you won't regret it. A Cab lovers delight.
Top Value! Drink from 2019 to 2036

Additional Information:


Cabernet Sauvignon and Blends

- Cabernet Sauvignon has come a long way from its role as a blending varietal, however dominant, in the wines of Bordeaux. Today it is the most planted red varietal in the world. Identified as a descendent of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc, the late-ripening Cabernet Sauvignon needs to be planted in warmer climates to fully ripen. Its small berries can easily be identified for their distinctive blue color, thick skins and high tannins. And while the varietal has its own definitive characteristics: green pepper-like aromas and black currant flavors among them, it is perhaps most prized for its ability to convey terroir, vintage and winemaking. A relatively new varietal, Cabernet Sauvignon started making inroads into the wines of the Médoc and Graves in the late-18th century. Today it is also dominant in the up-and-coming Entre-Deux-Mers region of Bordeaux and can also be found in Southwest France. It is the companion varietal to Sangiovese in Italy's Super Tuscans and is planted all over Europe, stretching to lesser-known winegrowing regions like Russia and Lebanon. In the Americas Cabernet Sauvignon has found champions in every nook and cranny of California and among winemakers in Washington, where it complements plantings of Merlot. In South America, Cab thrives in Chile, but can also be found in smaller amounts in Argentina and even in Mexico.

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 (%): 14.6