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.
Although 2016 received just below average rainfall, it was still considered the last year of our 5-year drought. However this adequate amount of rain at the appropriate time led to favorable conditions for bloom, which resulted in an even fruit-set and good vine balance. Summer temperatures were cooler, which allowed the fruit to ripen slowly and develop deeper flavors. The weather held steady through harvest allowing us to pick the fruit at optimum maturity levels, resulting in wines full of finesse and intensity.