The amount of mediocre Cabs I taste in this price range is mind-boggling. With the rising costs of everything these days, most wineries don’t even produce a Cabernet in this price range anymore. Then if they do, they either make them too thin, clumsy and/or disjointed or just don’t deliver in the ‘wow’ factor department.
But the Armé Cabernet is the exception and pretty much in a league of its own– a fantastic selection from Marietta in the winery’s family series and a wine that consistently delivers an insane value. Under $30 Cabs usually just can’t boast this kind of aromatic flair combined with a wonderfully vibrant and rich mid-palate that finishes with such depth and structure.
For the time being, Marietta’s wines continue to be some of the best values across the board in California. Antonio Galloni really let the cat out of the bag last year when he announced that he was “completely blown away by the Marietta wines” even declaring, Marietta’s “Scot Bilbro has the magic touch when it comes to crafting wines that deliver superb quality for the money across the various tiers in this range”.
Of course, the big man himself, Robert Parker, Jr. had already beaten young Antonito to the punch, proclaiming, “One of California’s finest value wineries, Marietta Cellars has been receiving favorable reviews in this publication for many years… The production has soared since then but the consistency in quality has remained remarkably high. These are terrific offerings from this value-priced winery.”
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94 Points, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate
The 2018 Armé Cabernet Sauvignon is 85% Cabernet Sauvignon blended with 7% Merlot, 4% Malbec and 4% Petit Verdot. Medium ruby-purple, it has pure, classic aromas of cassis, graphite, violets, loamy earth and tobacco. The intensely flavored palate is light on its feet with loads of juicy lift and a soft tannic frame, and it finishes long and floral. It’s an incredibly elegant style, particularly at this price point!
93 Points, James Suckling
Round-textured and fruity with balance and softness, yet freshness at the same time. Medium-bodied. Attractive berry, currant and sweet green-tobacco undertones. 85% cabernet sauvignon, 7% merlot and 4% malbec and 4% petit verdot. Drink now.
92 Points, Vinous
The 2018 Armé, Marietta’s Cabernet Sauvignon-based blend, is terrific. Blue/black fruit, leather, smoke, spice, tobacco, dried herbs and sage give the 2018 its strong aromatic presence. There’s quite a bit of tannin, though, so a few years in bottle are advisable. Armé packs a serious punch. And it’s a steal, too.