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2003 Martinelli - Zinfandel Giuseppe & Luisa Vineyard

UNITED STATES / CALIFORNIA / SONOMA
  • 90 WA
  • 83 WS
  • 92 IWC
  • Variety
    Zinfandel
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SKU: 53648-2003-750-3A
  • International Wine Cellar | Rating: 92

    ($42) Good medium red. Brambly raspberry, currant and tobacco aromas complicated by hints of dill and dried flowers; almost pinot-like. Wonderfully sweet and velvety-deep, with a pliant texture given shape and verve by lively acidity. This is already delicious but should be even better for a year of two of additional cellaring.
    Author: Stephen Tanzer
    Issue: May/June 2005
  • Wine Spectator | Rating: 83

    A touch of sweetness and the high alcohol level make it hard to identify this as Zinfandel. Zesty wild berry and cranberry notes are ripe, but lacking focus, clarity and concentration.
    Author: James Laube
  • Wine Advocate | Rating: 90

    There are 756 cares of the 2003 Zinfandel Giuseppe & Luisa, which, believe it or not, tops the scales at 17.4%. At this point, some heat and the high alcohol does become noticeable on the palate. There are plenty of sweet currants and loads of pepper, but the raisiny fruit needs to calm down. Roasted meats and a liqueur of mincemeat and spice box are part of this package, and the wine is impressive, full-bodied, but obviously controversial. It possesses an evolved, medium ruby/garnet color. This one I would opt for drinking over the next 3-4 years, but certainly that high alcohol is going to keep it stable.
    Author: Robert Parker
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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

    • 174 bottles owned
    • 39 collectors