Martinelli Zinfandel Giuseppe & Luisa 2020, Russian River Valley, California

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 budwood 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. Tasting notes: Our 2020 Giuseppe & Luisa Zinfandel has engulfing aromas of Santa Rosa plum flesh, toasted almond, and white pepper that jump from the glass. A ripe plum entry leads to the fresh raspberry mid palate. The balanced acid sensation lasts all the way from mid palate to the fresh, stone fruit finish. 2020 will likely go down as one of the most memorable harvests in Martinelli history. In mid-August 2 nearby wildfires were ignited by a lightning storm. Luckily, Zinfandel grapes have very tough skins and did not absorb the smoke flavors that were evident in the Pinots. “Though we were only able to process half the amount of fruit we do in a normal year, we are grateful for the outstanding wines we were able to make from the 2020 harvest.” – winery