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Martinelli Chico's Hill Syrah 2007

Syrah/Shiraz from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
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    Winemaker Notes

    This will go down as one of the best vintages of the decade. It was an excellent growing year, with the ideal slow ripening period from the cool morning to the warmer afternoons. Wines were ripe, complex, and balanced.

    Critical Acclaim

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    Martinelli

    Martinelli Winery & Vineyards

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    Martinelli Winery & Vineyards, Russian River, Sonoma County, California
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    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.

    Russian River

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    A standout region for its decidedly Californian take on Burgundian varieties, the Russian River Valley is named for the eponymous river that flows through it. While there are warm pockets of the AVA, it is mostly a cool-climate growing region thanks to breezes and fog from the nearby Pacific Ocean.

    Chardonnay and Pinot Noir reign supreme in Russian River, with the best examples demonstrating a unique combination of richness and restraint. The cool weather makes Russian River an ideal AVA for sparkling wine production, utilizing the aforementioned varieties. Zinfandel also performs exceptionally well here. Within the Russian River Valley lie the smaller appellations of Chalk Hill and Green Valley. The former, farther from the ocean, is relatively warm, with a focus on red and white Bordeaux varieties. The latter is the coolest, foggiest parcel of the Russian River Valley and is responsible for outstanding Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

    Syrah/Shiraz

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    Marked by unmistakable aromatics, a savory palate, and an elegant texture, Syrah is capable of producing fascinatingly complex and long-lived wines with a stunning purple hue. Native to the Northern Rhône, Syrah’s best examples are found in Hermitage and Côte-Rôtie. It is also an important component of the GSM blends of the Southern Rhône and beyond, alongside Grenache and Mourvèdre. Both varietal Syrah and GSM blends are common in Australia and California and are gaining popularity in Washington State. In Australia, Syrah is known by the synonym Shiraz, which tends to indicate a bolder, fruit-driven style of wine, and is occasionally blended with Cabernet Sauvignon for added depth and structure.

    In the Glass

    At its best, Syrah shows aromas and flavors of purple fruits, fragrant violets, baking spice, white pepper, smoke, and even bacon fat. Many examples from California aim to recreate this savory style, while others focus more on concentrated fruit flavors. In Australia, under the name Shiraz, it shines as that country’s unofficial signature red grape, producing deep, dark, intense, and often jammy reds.

    Perfect Pairings

    Cool-climate Syrah, with its peppery spices, is a natural match with flavorful Moroccan-spiced lamb dishes, where the spice is more about flavor than heat. With Australian Shiraz, grown in warmer regions, heavy meat dishes with abundant protein and fat are a necessity to match the intensity of the wine.

    Sommelier Secret

    Due to the success of Australian “Shiraz,” this synonym for Syrah has been adopted by winemakers throughout the world. If the label says “Shiraz,” you can typically expect a plush, fruity, and potent wine made in the Australian style. New World "Syrah" will generally more closely resemble the French style.

    KHM352415_2007 Item# 352415