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2019 Martinelli Zio Toni Ranch Vineyard Russian River Pinot Noir

The Martinelli family has been an integral part of the Russian River Valley landscape since 1887, farming vineyards and apple orchards. As a winemaker in Italy, Guiseppe Martinelli chose to immigrate from Tuscany to California at the age of 19. He bought land and passed his work ethic in the vineyards on to his son Leno. Leno passed his knowledge of viticulture to his son Lee Martinelli Sr. who transformed the apple orchards into Pinot Noir and Chardonnay vineyards. The first Pinot Noir was released in 1970. Today Lee Sr.’s sons, Lee Jr. and George manage the property.

The Zio Toni Ranch Vineyard, located in Russian River Valley, formerly belonged to Lee Martinelli Sr.’s uncle, Tony Bondi. It was originally an apple orchard that was planted to vineyards in 1990. It consists of Goldridge soils of clay and loam. The appearance of the Zio Toni is slightly muted ruby with shy aromatics of forest floor and earth. It is generously packed with ripe red berry fruits of dried cherry, crème de cassis, pomegranate, and cola. There are underpinnings of grilled meat as this youthful wine takes a few minutes to evolve in the glass. The finely grained tannins lead to a persistent finish.

By W Peter Hoyne

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