In the stellar 2009 growing season in Sonoma — which many still believe to be the finest harvest of the new millennium — the Martinellis’ famed Zio Tony Ranch Syrah was nursed to miracle physiological maturity. Just a couple tons per acre of ultra-ripe Syrah were hand-harvested, then trucked to Helen Turley’s crusher. Ms. Turley took it from there.
When Giuseppe and Louisa Martinelli eloped in the early 1880s, they traveled from Tuscany to Northern California. Two years later, they'd scraped together enough money to plant a 60-degree, southeast-facing slope. Over 100 years later, the vineyard the Martinellis planted, which became known as Jackass Hill Vineyard, remains the steepest non-terraced planting in Sonoma County.
Over the last 20 years, winemaker Helen Turley has amassed an astounding ninety 96-to-100-point ratings during winemaking stints at Bryant Family, Marcassin, Colgin, Blankiet, Peter Michael, and La Jota.
But if you were to ask Robert Parker, Stephen Tanzer, or Wine Spectator where Ms. Turley has turned out her most lavish, massively concentrated reds, the answer would be unanimous: Martinelli Vineyards.
The 2009 Martinelli Syrah Zio Tony Ranch is purple-black to the rim, showing no sign whatsoever of its three years in bottle. High-toned and complex on the nose, featuring pungent aromas of mountain blueberry, blackberry, Asian spice, and licorice. Perfectly primary on the attack, MASSIVELY CONCENTRATED, juicy and dense, slowly peeling away fine layers of black currant, crushed black fruits, anise, and violets. This powerhouse Syrah is still in its infancy, finishing with broad, sumptuous tannins and stunning vibrancy. Drink now for its youthful Hedonism or, like all of Turley's great reds, lay the 2009 Zio Tony Ranch down for another 7-10 years.
94 points from Robert Parker's Wine Advocate. Up until now, offered ONLY to the winery mailing list at $80/bottle. And on this Christmas Eve morning here on WineAccess? $49.99 for as long as 480 bottles last. Shipping included on 4.
94 points – Robert Parker's The Wine Advocate