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Martinelli Jackass Vineyard Zinfandel 2006

Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
  • RP94
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Winemaker Notes

The Jackass Vineyard Zinfandel has aromas of cherry pit, strawberries and flinty characteristics. Flavors include blackberry, anise, and clove spice with roasted figs.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 94
The Wine Advocate

Martinelli's Zinfandel portfolio continues to grow, with as many as five different offerings now available. The 2006 and 2007 Jackass Hill Vineyard cuvees were not tasted at this visit. However, the other four wines I tasted, all from steep hillside vineyard sites with the newer plantings planted from bud wood of both the Jackass Hill and Jackass vineyards, were brilliant. They are among the fullest-bodied, headiest, most distinctive Zinfandels made in California.

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Martinelli

Martinelli Winery & Vineyards

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Martinelli Winery & Vineyards, , California
Martinelli
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.

Maule Valley

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Carmenere

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Dark, full-bodied, and herbaceous with a spicy kick, Carménère has found great success in Chile, far from its birthplace of Bordeaux. Although Carménère once accompanied Malbec and Petit Verdot as a minor blending grape in Bordeaux, it is now virtually extinct there, though it has been thriving since the mid-nineteenth century in Chile. Originally mistaken for Merlot, it is now successful of its own accord and plantings continue to increase. It is bottled both on its own and as part of Bordeaux-inspired blends.

In the Glass

If not fully ripe, Carménère is often marked by a green, herbaceous character (think green bell pepper and green peppercorn), and expresses flavors of red berry and black pepper when just ripe. With additional hangtime at the end of harvest, it is reminiscent more of blackberry, blueberry, and dark plum, with rich and savory notes of chocolate, coffee, smoke, and soy sauce.

Perfect Pairings

Carménère can easily overpower lighter fare, but makes a great match for a hearty steak or barbecued red meat. It can also work well with white meat when prepared with a richer sauce such as mole.

Sommelier Secret

Perhaps Carménère’s herbal character can be explained in part by familial relations—due to the strange nature of grapevine breeding, Carménère is both a progeny and a great-grandchild of the similarly flavored Cabernet Franc.

MLNMARTJACK_2006 Item# 122583

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