Martinelli Vineyards Pinot Noir Zio Tony Ranch Russian River Valley 2010
The 2010 Pinot Noir Zio Tony Ranch is quite closed in on itself today. It has tons of depth and intensity, yet the flavors aren’t fully expressive yet. Dark cherries, menthol and cloves are some of the notes that emerge over time. The Zio Tony remains exotic and beguiling throughout, with an element of mystery to it, as it is clear the wine isn’t showing all of its cards. Layers of flavor continue to build all the way through to the huge, enveloping finish. The Zio Tony is the biggest and richest of these 2010 Pinots. Today it is towering and also a bit of a brute. It will be interesting to see what further time in bottle brings. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2030...93" WA 4/13 "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. The 2010 Zinfandels are also inconsistent, but here it is the huge heat spikes late in the season that compromised the crop and the overall quality of the vintage. Martinelli lost 50% of their Zinfandel crop that year. The resulting wines, while excellent when taken on their own, aren’t quite at the level long-time Martinelli fans expect. The Martinelli wines remain unique within the broad landscape that is Sonoma. At their best, these wines are stunning.
Since 1896, five generations of the Martinelli family have worked together producing apples and wine in Sonoma County. We invite you to stop by the Martinelli Vineyards Tasting room in our historic Hop Barn to try our award winning estate wines.