This wine is a barrel-blend from select Martinelli single vineyard zinfandel sites: Jackass, Vellutini, Lolita and Giuseppe & Luisa. Our Vellutini, Lolita and Giuseppe & Luisa vineyards were planted with cuttings from our 135 year-old Jackass Zinfandel clones. These vineyards are grown in cool regions of the Russian River Valley, allowing the deeper, dark flavors to develop in the grapes versus black pepper, characteristic of warmer vineyard sites. It is named for Evo Martinelli, who was raised on Martinelli Road. He was Lee Sr.'s first cousin, the son of Fred Martinelli. Evo gave Lee Sr. one of his first jobs out of the vineyard and instilled the importance of going to college in him as a young man.
The 2015 harvest was the earliest that we have had in a while, starting on August 12th.
Even though the previous three years were all very early harvests, 2015 had them all beat.
We had a very dry spring with cool weather during bloom (April-May) which caused a
long fruit-set period that resulted in some shatter, creating a reduced crop size by 35-50%
in some vineyards. The combination of lower yields and early spring bud break meant the
ripening period started off early and progressed rapidly. Despite these challenging
growing conditions and lower yields, the fruit quality for 2015 was exceptional.