Sonoma Valley may be less famous than the Napa Valley but in reality Sonoma makes some of most sought-after & delicious wines in California. Sonoma produces a wider range of grapes, including Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, Syrah, as well Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, etc.
Two cult wineries in Sonoma are Martinelli and Bella. Martinelli Winery has been around for 100+ years & their wines are hard to find, due to limited production, a reputation for high quality wines and high scores from the wine press. Their reputation was largely based on Zinfandel and Helen Turley's stint as their winemaker. She took the winery to another level! An unbelievable 285 wines from Martinelli have been rated between 90 and 100 points!
Regarding their 2012 wines, Robert Parker of The Wine Advocate (WA), says Bella "hit pay-dirt in 2012". He "has complimented Bella with some of the top scores for zinfandel, giving the 2012 Block 10 96 points and the 2012 Barrel 32 with 95 points, which is consistently our highest-rated wine." Parker points out that the 2012 Barrel 32 is "about as good as zinfandel can get."
We are meeting at a new venue: 3 Doors Down! They charge a $10 corkage fee/bottle meaning $8 per person will be added to your food bill. A link to their delicious dinner menu is below:
Check out the wines we'll be having:
1. 2015 Bella Barrel 32 Sonoma County Zinfandel - $55
Zinfandel Barrel 32 is basically a selection of their nine finest barrels. This wine, which tips the scales at a relatively modest 14.7% alcohol. The wine is a classic Zinfandel – big, rich, boisterous & effusively fruity, with a dense purple color, a terrific nose of briary blackberry & black cherry fruit, meat & pepper, & silky tannins. The finish of close to 45 seconds only adds to its remarkable appeal. This is a stunner and a classic example of Zinfandel at its best. WA
2. 2014 Bella Florence Vineyard Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel - $40
Exhibits wonderful floral aromatics and notes of sweet raspberry and black cherry. In the mouth it showcases luscious flavors of dried fig, fresh blackberries, anise and a hint of bright cranberries. The texture is wonderfully supple with soft, gently tannins providing an amazing balance. Winery
3. 2014 Bella Lily Hill Estate Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel - blend 96% Zinfandel, 4% Petite Sirah grapes - $48
With a pretty floral nose of dark ripe fruit, exhibits classic and lively Dry Creek flavors of blackberries, black cherries, licorice and exotic spices. The wine has a silky texture with a full mouthfeel, intertwined with a smokey cigar box finish. The incorporation of a small amount of petite sirah pushes the finish into rich, substantial length. Wine.com
4. 2015 Bella Rocks Edge Rockpile Zinfandel - $58
This is amazing. The aromatics are sarsaparilla and baking spices. The flavors include Dark, Bing cherry, mushroom, earth and minerality. It exhibits a wonderful integration of mouth-filling fruit, juicy tannins and sublime acidity producing a wine of great balance and finesse. Winery
5. 2016 Martinelli Giuseppe & Luisa Zinfandel - $58
Has aromas of blackberry liquor, espresso and blueberries. On the palate it is juicy with dark black cherry and lots of spicy notes, and a very long finish loaded with exotic fruits.
6. 2016 Martinelli "Martinelli Road" Zinfandel - $45
Our 2016 Martinelli Road Zinfandel has sweet red raspberry and oak on the nose. Juicy with flavors of ripe red fruits, blackberry and vanilla.
7. 2016 Martinelli Jackass Road Zinfandel - $95
Our 2016 Jackass Vineyard Zinfandel has aromas of black cherry, stone fruits, and baking spices. The palate is very complex and layered with flavors with boysenberry, hints of fig,and wild exotic fruits.
8. 2008 Martinelli Hop Camp Syrah - $58
The 2008 Hop Camp Vineyard Syrah offers aromas of wild game, cedar, and blackberry. Flavors include black pepper and dark rich plum, backed by earthy tannins and a mineral characteristic. Rated 92 WA