Martinelli Jackass Vineyard Zinfandel 2005
Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
The Jackass Vineyard Zinfandel has aromas of cherry pit, strawberries and flinty characteristics. Flavors include blackberry, anise, and clove spice with roasted figs.
The Wine Advocate - "Even more powerful at 17.1% is the 2005 Zinfandel Jackass Vineyard. This tastes like a Zinfandel made by Henri Bonneau in Chateauneuf du Pape. Sweet kirsch liqueur intermixed with roasted herbs, pepper, spice box, and gamey aged beef notes all combine for a wine with great fruit, huge glycerin and volume, as one might suspect from the alcohol level, but no sense of heat. This is a ripe, heady, individualistic/singular style of wine that you either love or hate. I simply love it. There 572 cases of the Jackass Vineyard, which is a relatively large production for this site. At 17.5% of alcohol, the achievement in this wine fermenting dry is remarkable."
International Wine Cellar - "Ruby-red. Intensely floral on the nose, with bright raspberry and blueberry aromas supported by zesty minerality and complemented by fresh rose and lavender. Incredibly deep dark berry flavors are complemented by candied licorice and floral pastille tones. This is beyond rich and sweet but there's an almost eerie elegance about it. The vines here were planted in 1877. Turley says that the wild yeasts here will allow the wine to ferment to dryness with up to 18% alcohol (this one clocks in at 17.1%). 'That's what 130-year-old yeast can do, I guess.'"
The Martinelli family has been farming in Sonoma County since 1860. All of the wines are produced from estate grown grapes which are farmed by Lee Martinelli Sr., and sons, Lee, Jr. and George, continuing five generations of the proud family legacy of caretaking the land. The Martinelli family along with winemaker Bryan Kvamme and consulting winemaker, Helen Turley (1992-2010) work from beginning to end; analyzing soil samples, choosing rootstocks, varietals and clones that are the best matched to a particular growing site, seasonal primping and pruning in the field, and the final blends for the finished wines. The Martinelli family specializes in single-vineyard Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Zinfandel and Syrah. View all Martinelli Wines
About Sonoma CountyView a map of Sonoma County wineriesRelated Links:
Twice as large as Napa in size, Sonoma County only makes about a half the amount of wine as her northeasterly neighbor. But Sonoma, with her size, is able to vouch for more diversity within her borders, including sub-AVAs that are climatically varied. The atmosphere of Sonoma is decidedly laid back and down home country style. But in wines, they are keeping up with the Joneses, or Napa-ites if you will. Grape varieties are more varied here, from Pinot Noir and Zinfandel to Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay.
Notable FactsThe largest sub-AVAs of Sonoma include Dry Creek Valley, Russian River Valley, Alexander Valley and Sonoma Valley. Each sub-AVA, with its own micro-climate, is unique in its grape varieties and styles of wine. Dry Creek makes a mean Zinfandel while Russian River produces stand up Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The Alexander Valley makes some of the better Cabernet Sauvignons in the county and Sonoma Valley creates excellent wines from all the above varieties. Other grapes found throughout Sonoma include Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot and Syrah.
About CaliforniaIt's not rare to see a wine's country of origin listed as "California." A country into itself in the wine world, California makes enough varieties and styles to match many European wine countries. It produces a diverse range of wines that span the quality spectrum.
The most famous of the California wine regions is Napa Valley, and these wines are certainly outstanding – but it's not as broad and diverse as its larger neighbor, Sonoma County. Down south, Santa Barbara's Santa Maria Valley is well-known for its Rhône blends, as well as cool-climate varieties like Pinot and Chardonnay. The Central Coast, the largest California AVA, has many different microclimates that lead to a wide range of wines with many sub-AVAs.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.