Martinelli Zinfandel Giuseppe & Luisa 2018, Russian River Valley, California

The year was 1899 when Giuseppe and Luisa Martinelli planted three acres of Zinfandel in the little town of Forestville nestled in the Russian River Valley. The special site they chose was a very steep slope of 60-degrees with a southeastern exposure. 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. This small vineyard is trained on a vertical trellis system with the fruit hanging just 24 inches above the ground. The grapes are thinned down to between two and three pounds of fruit per vine. These practices all insure mature fruit flavors in the wine as well as even ripening. The grapes are picked between 25 and 26 degrees brix. After picking, the whole berries undergo a long cool fermentation to generate skin contact and expose fruit character and are fermented with wild yeast. The juice is transferred into small oak barrels with a touch of residual sugar remaining to complete the fermentation process in barrel until dry. It rests in 33% new French oak on its gross lees for ten months. The grapes, juice, and then wine are minimally handled. This wine is neither heat nor cold stabilized and is unfined and unfiltered. 2018 Giuseppe & Luisa Zinfandel has aromas of strawberry, raspberry, white peach and clove. On the palate it is juicy with Bing cherry and spices, followed by a strawberry-cream finish.

$62.99