2010 Martinelli "Vellutini Ranch" Russian River Valley Zinfandel

SKU #1140094 92 points Int'l Wine Cellar

Outer quote mark Inky violet color. Aromas of red fruit liqueur, incense and smoky Indian spices. Intense raspberry and cherry flavors put on weight with air and pick up a floral nuance on the back end. This rich yet lively zinfandel finishes with excellent clarity and cling. (ST) Inner quote mark (5/2012)

92 points Wine Spectator

Outer quote mark This is dense and quite ripe, but backs it up with great intensity and structure. Aromas of blackberry pie and fresh cracked pepper lead to fleshy black cherry, licorice and caramel flavors. (TF) Inner quote mark (6/2012)

Wine Advocate

Outer quote mark Martinelli's 2010 Zinfandel Vellutini Ranch is a strong effort for a year that was hugely challenging for Zinfandel. Sweet tobacco, dark red cherries, wild flowers and new leather are all nicely balanced in a full-bodied, intense Zinfandel. The persistent, silky finish leaves a lasting impression. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2025. Ask the locals in Sonoma who the most meticulous farmers are in the region, and one answer comes back with astonishing frequency -- Martinelli. Originally from Lucca, Italy, Giuseppe Martinelli and his family were attracted to hillside sites that reminded them of their native Tuscany. Ironically, many of the locals thought those places were too steep and hard to work, but time has proven Martinelli had a keen understanding of sites. Today, these are recognized as some of the finest vineyards in California. The Martinelli family still sells most of their grape to other wineries, but they also vinify and bottle a small amount of their production. As always, these are big, rich wines built on opulence. The Martinelli approach seems to work best with Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. I find the Syrahs less interesting, as Martinelli’s philosophical approach to harvest very late seems to blur some of the differences among vineyards, which is a shame. That is especially evident in a vintage like 2009, which yielded plenty of richness on its own. (AG) Inner quote mark (4/2013)

K&L Notes

Consulting winemaker is Helen Turley. From the winery: "The Vellutini Ranch is bordered on the east by Jackass Hill and on the south by Jackass Vineyard, sharing the same Franciscan soil type....The Zinfandel is planted with bud wood from the Martinelli family’s centurion grapevines Jackass Hill and Jackass Vineyard."

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Price: $59.99
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