Martinelli Giuseppe and Luisa Zinfandel 2018 - 750ml
95 Points Vinous
The 2018 Zinfandel Giuseppe & Luisa is, in my view, once again the most distinctive Zinfandel in this range. Bright acids, floral overtones and chiseled red fruit scream with Russian River character. Medium in body, gracious and beautifully perfumed, the Giuseppe & Luisa is flat-out gorgeous. I loved it. Drinking window: 2023 - 2033.
The Martinelli Family has been growing grapes and making wine in the Russian River Valley since the late 1880s. As 5th generation stewards of some of the finest vineyards in the region, they’re proud to continue this legacy of hands-on farming, bringing decades of experience to everything they do.
We try as much as possible to use a hands-off approach during the winemaking process, allowing the wine to go through a set of natural processes with minimal intervention. Ironically, this approach requires much more expertise and attention from the winemaking team.
Our wines are fermented with naturally occurring yeasts. We feel these native yeasts enhance the flavor and texture of the wine. The wines are kept in barrel for 10 months, are unfiltered and unfined, and clarified only by racking before bottling.
Their primary goal has always been hand-crafting quality wines that are born in their estate vineyards. All of their grapes are Estate grown, allowing us to use only their favorite blocks for each vineyard designated wine. They have a commitment to quality and have never offered for sale a wine that they felt did not live up to the reputation and expectations of its label. They also try to maintain a sense of consistency with each vintage, while still allowing the true nature of the vineyard to shine through. These wines are limited production and each vineyard is hand farmed very carefully, producing only the finest quality fruit.
The 2018 season was much calmer than the rain and heat spikes we experienced in 2017. The moderate temperature in the spring and the warm summer allowed for a longer growing season and full flavor development. There was plenty of water in the soil to carry the clusters though the long season with minimal dehydration. Our first day of harvest in 2018 was September 10th compared with August 26th of 2017. With the later start of harvest, the production crew could enjoy the Labor Day holiday right before the long hours and hard work of harvest began.
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 bud wood 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.
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