OUR #5 Wine of 2016
Pinot Noir | Sonoma Coast | Wine Spectrum 95
The 2013 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir has aromas of cherry cola, rhubarb, spiced plums and potpourri. On the palate, raspberries with cream and spicy blackberry jam flavors, with great balance and a lengthy finish. Primarily Blue Slide Ridge Vineyard fruit (declassified.) 90% Blue Slide Ridge, a tiny bit of Three Sisters, Wild Thyme (a new Martinelli single vineyard), and Home Ranch (a new Martinelli single vineyard.) Only 634 cases produced.
The Martinelli family has been growing grapes in Sonoma County since the 1880’s. Over 100 years later, they have become not only owners of some of the most sought after vineyards in the valley, but also a hallmark of quality wine. Their Pinot Noir’s, Zinfandel’s, and Chardonnay’s consistently score high with critics and are some of the most popular wines with our clients.
Buy Martinelli Pinot Noir NOW
One of the great families of Northern California, and of course, one of the highest quality producers, the Martinellis – and rather remarkably so – only estate-bottle 15% of their production from over 300 acres of beautifully situated vineyards in the Russian River Valley and Sonoma Coast. No doubt Helen Turley, who worked at Martinelli and mentored its winemaking team, left a profound influence on the quality of the Chardonnays, Pinot Noirs, Syrahs and Zinfandels, a fact that can’t be overstated. The Chardonnays all go through full malolactic fermentation and tend to see about 50% new oak. The Pinot Noirs are always 100% destemmed and largely spend no longer than ten months in about 60% new French oak. More specifics are included with the following tasting notes.
BLUE SLIDE RIDGE VINEYARD
Blue Slide Ridge is named for its magnificent formations of blue rock. Directly below the vineyard a sheer cliff drops into the small winding creek, the south fork tributary of the Gualala River, showing off great cerulean shards jutting out from beneath the earth’s surface. This vineyard site was nearly named “Rattle Snake Ridge” due to the large population of rattlers that populate the cool hollows beneath the great blue rocks. In 1995 my parents, Lee and Carolyn Martinelli, planted this 6 acre vineyard of Pinot Noir on a steep slope which was once prime grazing land for sheep. This small vineyard was planted to the specifications of our former winemaker, Helen Turley and her husband John Wetlaufer. The denser spacing creates more intense flavor in the grapes because each individual vine is asked to focus more attention onto a fewer number of grape clusters. This vineyard is truly a “coastal” vineyard, being located on the second ridge inland from the Pacific coastline.
Top Wines of 2016 Release Schedule