2005 Spinelli Vineyard Zinfandel
Zinfandel •Spinelli Vineyard
California: Contra Costa County
What We Say
SUPERIOR WINE ALERT!
Today’s wine is a near-perfect and deeply-delicious red blend – from one of our favorite Paso Robles wine producers
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Mission Codename: Fifty Two Years of Excellence
Operative: Agent Red
Objective: Return to Trinitas Cellars. This time, retrieve their Spinelli Live Oak Zinfandel, a must sought-after treat for the most demanding Zin-loving Operatives
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Trinitas Cellars
Wine Subject: 2005 Zinfandel – Spinelli Live Oak Vineyard
Winemaker: Kevin Mills
Backgrounder: Zinfandel is related to the Italian Primitivo grape, tracing its origin to the Croatian grape Crljenak Kastelanski. Zinfandel is one of the most versatile varietals with the ability to make wines, both rich to fruity, dark to light, and dry to sweet. Contra Costa County Zinfandels, which are characterized by their brightness and their juiciness, are gaining in popularity and noteriety. A taste of this wine makes it easy to see why. Read Agent Red’s tasting notes and mission report below
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – A deep a beautiful ruby red in color with a heart of pure garnet. Held up to sunlight, this wine exhibits great cherry-juice clarity. When swirled this wine shows a bouncy and fast-settling surface, that leaves behind skinny, tightly spaced legs that start off slow and then streak down the glass
Smell – Bold and deeply aromatic, with dark mixed berries, black cherry, exotic spice with white and black pepper, toasty caramel, vanilla and soft oak
Feel – Medium-weight on the entry, then soft on the mid where the wine ramps up with an increasing richness as ripe tannins settle in and the mouth is coated with a texture that makes you pucker your lips
Taste – Richly delicious with a beautiful balance of both bright fruity, and slightly dusky flavors, featuring blackberry jam, red plum, blueberry, smoky strawberry and big bing cherry. These all sit atop a gorgeous soft exotic spice that really adds to the overall flavor and complexity of the wine. These spices include pepper and subtle cinnamon
Finish – This wine finishes smooth, fine and ultra-long with balanced flavors of its fruit, soft spice and a touch of earthiness
Conclusion – This is a delicious stunner of a Zinfandel! With bold jammy fruit flavors and elegant aromatics and a fabulous feel, this wine is richly layered and deeply delicious. If you are looking for a Zin which is filled with juicy character and long on aromatics and flavors, this is a wonderful selection. While the wine is big and bold, it has enough acidity to make it food-friendly. It does not over-power the palate as many Cali Zins can. We have always loved Trinitas wines, but today’s selection delivers extra oomph. I love this wine, and I’m certain that you’ll love it as well.
Below is a recap of Agent Red’s original mission when he visited Trinitas Cellars:
Located at the southern end of the Napa Valley, nestled behind the Meritage Resort & Spa and buried in and underground cave, lies a remarkable secret: Trinitas Cellars.
Trinitas first came to my attention while on stakeout during a prior mission. I was on a vetting mission and was keeping an eye on a potential new asset. If this person proved to have the connections that she was reported to, I’d be recruiting her by days end.
I had followed her to the Meritage Resort, when she was having what looked to be a poolside meeting with a group I recognized as some heavy-hitters in the biz. These guys are all business and so I knew that my target must have the chops that her dossier suggested.
A waitress offered me a menu but I politely waved it away. Instead, I simply asked her for a glass of their best house Pinot Noir.
The wine arrived. The waitress set it down on the table in front of me. I handed her a $20 and told her to keep the change. I sat and watched my target for some time before finally picking up the wine.
I inhaled deeply – and the hairs on my neck stood up. This, I could tell, was one excellent wine! I spent the next several minutes enraptured by the wine. It was a young wine, I could tell, but it was very impressive.
When I finally looked up, my target was gone! How could I let myself be so distracted? On scanning the area, my eyes came to rest on an anomaly in the landscape; The hill that sat behind me, over my right shoulder, was obviously manmade. I had seen enough ‘hills’ like this to know that it was a wine cave!
I got to my feet and dashed toward the hill. Cleverly concealed as it might have been, I quickly found the entrance. Once inside I made my way through the cavern, eventually finding – a full tasting room!
And there, at the bar, was my target and her cohorts.
The woman behind the bar beamed at me and said, “Welcome to Trinitas Cellars!”
Trinitas, eh? This requires deeper investigation…
Agent Red, out!
Agent White, reporting:
Is Agent Red losing it? Does he need glasses? The sign above the wine cave clearly reads, “Trinitas Cellars”. At least he returned to HQ with samples of that Pinot Noir. The Pinot, of course, turned out to be a 2007 Carneros Pinot Noir from Trinitas – and today we are proud to present you with an opportunity to try this special wine for yourself.
As for Agent Red and his mission worthiness, we are recommending that he be placed under closer scrutiny. His wine-finding skills are still top-notch, but his methods and his reports leave just a tad to be desired!
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The location of the Trinitas Callears cave tasting room and winery can be seen, behind the Meritage Resport & Spa, in this satellite photo.
What the Winery Says
Awards & Accolades:
91 Points – “Named one of the best Zins of the year by Wine & Spirits Magazine.”
About This Wine:
Sweet berry flavors give this old-fashioned, earthy zin lasting fruit impact. It has the festive holiday scent of evergreen boughs and tarry, bitter black tannins to balance all the fruit. An hour in a decanter will bring out its rustic charm.
The Winemaking: A pre-fermentation cold soak with traditional pump-over cap management preserved the unique fruit qualities of this wine. After malolactic occurred in neutral wood, an addition of 30% new American oak was used to enhance the spice flavor components and to frame the fruit with added structure in the mid-palate. During 14 months of aging, this wine was racked once and only lightly filtered before bottling.
The Vineyard: The vineyard source for these Zinfandel grapes was planted in 1909 by Portuguese settlers John and Marie Azevedo. In 1955 Gustavo Spenelli along with his wife Mary and two sons Frank, and Angelo began to manage the vineyard for the Azevedo family. They purchased the 18 acre parcel in 1970. Sadly only five acres remain. Fifty-two years of family vineyard management made this wine the gem of our 2005 Vintage.
About The Winery:
Trinitas Cellars celebrates the connection among sun, soil and humanity by working closely with its grower society throughout Northern California to source a broad range of varietals from the regions where climate and soil conditions are most favorable. Small quantities of these exceptional-quality grapes are then handcrafted into an approachable California-style wine to be enjoyed as an aperitif or with food. The Busch family balances their resources to grow their business and benefit the community and their faith, by honoring and serving God in all they do.
Trinitas, the Latin word for Trinity, is the fundamental principle of Christianity. Trinity also symbolizes Sun, Soil & Humanity, which are the three ingredients evoking the perfect wine. It further reflects the triumvirate of the Wine Country lifestyle, Meritage Resort & Spa, and Trinitas wines.
About The Winemaker:
Kevin Mills – Kevin Mills grew up in Oklahoma where he and his family have grown vines since 1977. After years of hard work and many “interesting” wines they decided to go to school. Kevin enrolled in Grayson County College’s Viticulture and Enology program at Denison, Texas and together started Canadian River Winery. Kevin met Tony Peju of Peju Province Winery and mentored under then Peju Winemaker Sean Foster for four and a half years. Kevin took the winemaker position for Trinitas Cellars in January, 2007. His emphasis is to mainstream Trinitas with top tier Bordeaux and Burgundy varietals. Kevin has introduced Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and Cabernet programs to the Trinitas Portfolio.
Total Acidity: 7.5g