2009 Martinelli "Jackass Vineyard" Russian River Valley Zinfandel
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2009 Zinfandel Jackass Vineyard emerges from a plot of 130-year-old head-trained vines. Plums, exotic spices, tar, minerals, forest floor and black cherries are some of the many notes that come to life in this powerful, explosive wine. Layers of fruit continue to build with notable intensity as the wine flows through to its intense, resonant finish. This is a dazzling wine from Martinelli, but patience will be required. Anticipated maturity: 2019-2029. (AG)
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Inky purple. Explosive, exotically perfumed aromas of blueberry, blackberry, dark chocolate, toasty oak spices and incense; nothing shy about this. Lush, supple and broad, with palate-coating dark berry compote and floral pastille flavors accented by licorice and Indian spices. For all its exotic fruit character, this shows surprising poise and precision and an almost restrained character. I did say "almost." Finishes velvety and long, with supple tannins and lingering notes of dark berry liqueur and candied flowers. I'd be inclined to serve this by itself, or maybe with a blue cheese. (ST)
Jackass Hill, the steepest non-terraced hillside vineyard in Sonoma County, got its name because, "only a jackass would farm a hill that steep." Well, thank goodness for jackasses, because the old vine Zinfandel from this 60-degree slope produces excellent, concentrated wine. Roasted meats, black pepper and bright, cassis and blackberry fruit follow from the nose to the palate, complemented by earthy-sweet sandalwood and anise accents.