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1994 Martinelli - Zinfandel Jackass Vineyard

  • 93 WA
  • 92 WS
  • Variety
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SKU: 53649-1994-1500-0
  • Rating: 93

    I just had the 1994 Jackass Vineyard Zinfandel (93 points) with dinner, and it was akin to having liquefied strawberry shortcake, only dry, intoxicating, and incredibly perfumed. This wine is best drunk young, despite its lofty alcohol levels and extract. My recommendation is to consume it during its first 5-8 years of life. Martinelli's most popular wine (until readers begin to discover just how exciting the Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs are) remains the Jackass Zinfandel. Are the 1995s superior to the 1994? My tasting instincts suggest both efforts are as good. The landmark Jackass Hill Vineyard (an incredibly steep vineyard planted in 1887) produces spectacular wines. More and more wines made from small high quality producers such as Martinelli are being sold via a mailing list.
    Author: Robert Parker
  • Rating: 92

    Dark, ripe and intense. Delivers an elegant core of complex, rich, plush plum, cherry, currant and berry flavors, with a tarry, spicy aftertaste. Delicious now and worthy of short-term cellaring. 275 cases made.
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  • Martinelli Winery is steeped in tradition - the founders were Giuseppe Martinelli and Luisa Vellutini, originally from a village in Tuscany, who eloped as teenagers and landed in Sonoma in 1887. Though resources were scarce, Giuseppe, armed with extensive viticultural knowledge, earned and borrowed enough to purchase a bit of land - the current 60-degree slope which is now known as Jackass Hill Vineyard. The first vines planted were Zinfandel and Muscat Alexandria. When Giuseppe passed away in 1918, his youngest son, Leno, just 12 years old, became responsible for tending the family's steep hillside. His family said only a jackass would be stubborn enough to farm that torturous slope and thus, it earned its name.

    In 1973 Lee, Sr., Leno's son, took over management of his Uncle Tony Bondi's estate in the Russian River Valley and made his mark as a premium grape grower. He and his wife Carolyn realized the potential of their crops and started their own winery and tasting room in two converted hop barns. A chance meeting with Helen Turley in 1993 introduced a slew of progressive viticultural and cellar practices that catapulted them to the next level.

    See other similar producers:Patz & Hall,Brewer-Clifton,Hanzell Vineyards

    California is the heartland of wine production in the US, and the state that brought prestige to American wine thanks to the pioneers who built early wineries like Staglin, Beringer, Ridge, Mayacamas and Chateau Montelena in the 1800s. Its large geographic area ensures a great diversity in growing sites, varieties grown, and quality levels. Generalizations about the state's wines have numerous exceptions; however, a few key facts generally hold true—ample sunshine, dry weather during the growing season, and moderate winters prevail. Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon continue to dominate the state's production—albeit in continually smaller percentages, as growers continue to diversify. More than 100 different varieties can be found throughout the state.

    Zinfandel is native to Croatia but today is regarded as California’s signature variety. It is made in a range of styles, the best of which are full-bodied wines with high alcohol and aromas of red and black fruit, dried berry, cardamom, anise, smoke, and black pepper. Look to producers Turley, Martinelli, and Ridge for some of the best examples of California Zin.

    Zinfandel’s full body and high alcohol require a strong dish to pair, and curries, spiced barbeque, light meats, and hard cheeses make great choices.

    Collector Data For This Wine

    • 17 bottles owned
    • 13 collectors