2000 Martinelli "Jackass Hill" Russian River Valley Zinfandel

SKU #1265930 94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 100-case cuvee of 2000 Zinfandel Jackass Hill Vineyard (only 17.6% alcohol!) tastes like maple syrup infused with roasted red and black fruits, smoky oak, meat, and cedar wood. Its plum/garnet color is followed by explosive aromas, and a flavor profile that suggests it is fortified, but it is not. Getting these wines to ferment dry is no small achievement. There is nothing like this made anywhere else in the world. Don't get me wrong, no one will ever drink even a half bottle of this unless they are masochists, but a glass of this elixir is pretty special. I suppose that's what makes these wines so popular. (RP)  (8/2002)

92 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Medium, slightly dull red. Porty aromas of roasted red berries, mocha and burnished oak; showed a sappier fruit quality as it opened in the glass. Superripe, thick and chewy; less sweet today than the Jackass Vineyard, and showing more oak and spearmint tones. One could eat this with a fork. (ST)  (5/2002)

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Price: $89.99
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- The bid to name Zinfandel California's "State Varietal" may have failed, but this red wine grape, grown extensively in California since the mid-1800s, is grown in few other places in the world. Sadly, much of what's cultivated today is planted where it's too hot and flat. But when planted to well-drained, hillside vineyards that are warm but not too hot, like those in Sonoma County's Dry Creek Valley and Amador County in the Sierra Foothills, Zinfandel can produce wines with plenty of character. High in natural alcohol and tannin, grown carefully it can be rich and complex, with dark fruit berry fruit and peppery spice. The most known example of Zinfandel outside of California is Italy's Primitivo, which can be similar in style, but is often a bit lighter and less alcoholic than West Coast examples.

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world. Click for a list of bestselling items from the United States.


- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year. For our entire selection of California wines, please visit this link.
Specific Appellation:

Alexander Valley/Russian River

- Among Sonoma County's northernmost appellations, the Alexander Valley AVA acts as a gateway to neighboring Napa to the east and Mendocino to the north. It is a sprawling appellation, with pockets of distinct microclimates and soils, and as such, is home to a variety of wine grapes and styles. Nearly everything grows in the Alexander Valley, though Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay are the most widely planted grapes. The Russian River Valley lies to the south of Alexander Valley, and is marked by much cooler temperatures and frequently heavy fog. The Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grown here are some of the state's finest and most sought-after. Aromatic whites like Gew├╝rztraminer and Riesling can also be successful, and sparkling wine production has a long history in the area.
Alcohol Content (%): 17.6