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2003 Martinelli - Zinfandel Jackass Vineyard

UNITED STATES / CALIFORNIA / SONOMA
  • 95 WA
  • 88 WS
  • 92 IWC
  • Variety
    Zinfandel
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SKU: 53649-2003-750-3A
  • International Wine Cellar | Rating: 92

    ($65; 16.5% alcohol) Good full ruby. Brooding aromas of superripe black cherry, licorice, leather and resin. Thick, rich and voluminous, with the black fruit and roast coffee flavors showing good life in the mouth. Still, with its higher alcohol this does not offer quite the delineation of flavor of the Giuseppe and Luisa bottling.
    Author: Stephen Tanzer
    Issue: May/June 2005
  • Wine Spectator | Rating: 88

    Pushes ripeness to the edge of sweet, with zesty plum, wild berry and raspberry flavors and a touch of cherry and spice. The tannins are ripe, too, and it shows some heat on the finish. For fans of ultraripe Zinfandels only. 554 cases made.
    Author: James Laube
  • Wine Advocate | Rating: 95

    The 2003 Zinfandel Jackass Vineyard (554 cases at 16.5% alcohol) has a classic dark plum/purple color, a huge nose of dates, figs, brandy-macerated blueberries, blackberries, soy, smoke, and barbecue spice. A full-bodied, exotic, opulent wine and a total hedonistic and intellectual turn-on, it should drink well for 7-8 years.
    Author: Robert Parker
  • Self | Rating: 90

    Rich and full flavor profile, but not my style of Zin. Points off for being an overly sweet alcohol bomb despite being an example of what depth you can get from this grape.
    Drink Dates: 2010-2012
    Author: ebgreenb
  • Self | Rating:

    See previous note
    Author: TMac
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

  • 258 bottles owned
  • 81 collectors
  • Average collector rating: 90
    (Out of 81 collectors)