1995 Martinelli "Jackass Hill" Russian River Valley Zinfandel

SKU #945072 97 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Martinelli produces spectacular wines from its landmark Jackass Hill Vineyard (an incredibly steep vineyard planted in 1887). The 1995 Jackass Hill Zinfandel is among the greatest Zinfandels I have ever tasted. Winemaker Steve Ryan spent many a night next to the fermenting tanks coaxing this wine to dryness. It boasts the most amazing extract, purity, and mouthfeel I have ever tasted in a Zinfandel, and believe me, California has produced a bevy of prodigious Zinfandels during the last six years. The opaque black/ruby-colored, dry 1995 Jackass Hill exhibits awesome richness and massive body, with an astonishing inner-core of sweet, ripe fruit. Last year I said the 1994 Jackass Hill (97 points) would become my benchmark Zinfandel, but the 1995 has equaled that wine. When I was asked how much alcohol I thought the wine contained, I said 14.5%-15%, largely because I did not detect any hotness because of the wine's concentration. When I was told that this dry wine was closer to 18%, I was dumbfounded. (RP)  (6/1997)

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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.
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Sonoma County

- Second in fame only to Napa, this "other" valley offers just about every climate and topography imaginable. From its cool and fog-enshrouded coastal regions on the far west, to the sprawling Alexander Valley on the boarder of Napa and the many little dips and peaks in between, Sonoma has been a vital wine-grape-growing region since the mid 1800s. Important sub-AVAs include Chalk Hill (known for chardonnay and sauvignon blanc), Dry Creek Valley (where zin is king) Knights Valley (largely cabernet land), Russian River Valley and Sonoma Coast (both celebrated pinot and chardonnay zones).