Wine Enthusiast 92
"This robust, generous and ripe red offers a mix of candied plum, blackberry and black olive, with a lavender tone to brighten the concentrated fruit. A sweet oak note complements the richness of the palate."
This wine is a barrel blend from select Martinelli single vineyard Zinfandel sites. It is named for Evo Martinelli, who was raised on Martinelli Road. He was Lee Sr.'s first cousin, the son of Fred Martinelli. Evo gave Lee Sr. one of his first jobs out of the vineyard and instilled the importance of going to college in him as a young man.
The 2016 growing year was the second dry year in a row for Sonoma County. It was an
especially dry spring and warmed up early, so the vines got an early jump on the season. Bloom came along in early May and the temperatures were perfect for berry pollination. The clusters ended up setting an abundance of berries. We had to do quite a bit of cluster thinning to maintain our desired crop levels and to get some sunlight and air movement into the canopy. Harvest came early as well. Fortunately, we had cooler temps about midway through, which slowed down picking and allowed us to catch up on things - including sleep! Harvest was complete after 7-8 weeks.
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The Martinelli family has been growing grapes in the Russian River Valley since 1887. At the ages of 19 and 16, Giuseppe Martinelli and Luisa Vellutini left their small village in the Tuscany region of Italy and made their way to California looking for land to farm and start a winery. Giuseppe had been a winemaker in Italy and with his viticultural knowledge he was hired to plant a vineyard for a farmer in Forestville. 100 years later, the historic Martinelli Estate vineyards are farmed by Lee Martinelli, Sr., and sons Lee, Jr. and George Martinelli. The wines are made by winemaker Bryan Kvamme. These handcrafted wines are unfined, unfiltered, neither cold nor heat stabilized and may contain naturally occurring sediment.