Immediately upon pouring your nose is engulfed with aromas of dried cherries, stone fruit, black tea, and fresh picked raspberries. The palate is mouthcoating in an intriguing way from the layers of tannins. Flavors of ripe apricot, black cherry, and sweet cream are found on the palate. A hint of white pepper is present along with white peach in the lingering finish.
Giuseppe and Luisa Martinelli planted three acres of Zinfandel in the Russian River Valley in the 1880s.The old vineyard is now known as Jackass Hill and remains the steepest non-terraced hillside vineyard in Sonoma County. Nearly one century later Giuseppe and Luisa’s grandson, Lee Martinelli Sr., followed in their footsteps by planting a Zinfandel vineyard. He grafted bud wood from the centurion vines onto low-vigor rootstocks and planted them one meter by two meters apart, equating to about 2,000 vines per acre, on a rocky knoll above the Martinelli Winery Tasting Room in Russian River Valley.
2021 was the driest known year on record and was also the third year of drought conditions for Sonoma County. Contrary to these conditions, the summer was relatively cool and started two weeks later than the previous year. The drought conditions did bring ripeness to each of our varietals at just about the same time. By the end of the first week, we had 40% of total tonnage in the winery. This included Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Zinfandel from both Fort Ross-Seaview and Russian River Valley. Despite being a very compact harvest, small clusters and berry size have yielded exceptional quality which makes 2021 a standout vintage.