2005 La Storia Meritage
California: Sonoma County: Alexander Valley
What We Say
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Mission Codename: Making History
Operative: Agent Petite Verdot
Objective: Secure another exclusive wine from Trentadue Winery in Sonoma County’s pristine Alexander Valley
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Trentadue
Wine Subject: 2005 La Storia Meritage
Winemaker: Miro Tcholakov
Backgrounder: Alexander Valley in northeast Sonoma County is located on the western side of the Mayacamas range and extends westward to the edge of the Russian River Valley. This appellation was formerly considered a part of Dry Creek Valley but became its own appellation in November 1984. The region is best known for exceptional Bordeaux Varietals. Read Agent Petite Verdot’s detailed tasting notes and winemaker interview, below
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Deep crimson with cherry edges. When swirled this Meritage has beautiful soft, rolling tears for legs. Glints of ruby reflect out of the glass when light shines through.
Smell – Oak, Vanilla and Mint are present throughout. Once decanted a dark fruit medley greets your senses accompanied by brown sugar, camp fire smoke and eucalyptus.
Feel – Well balanced acidity and soft tannins lend to a silken mouth feel. This is a delightfully full-bodied Meritage.
Taste – Dark fruit, vanilla and a mild spice introduce themselves first. Once decanted, Bing cherry, ripe plumb and blackberry come to the forefront of this wine. Soft notes of cocoa and coffee bean linger towards the end of each sip.
Finish – Pleasant dark fruit and a soft minerality make for a long and exuberant finish!
Overall – A beautiful display of a California Meritage. Wonderful viscosity and supple fruit create an elegant flavor profile; with the characteristics and qualities you want to enjoy everyday. Pair this great bottle with friends, veal Parmesan or your grandmothers hearty beef stew.
MIRO INTEL BRIEFING DOSSIER
SUBJECT: Miro Tcholakov
DATE OF BIRTH: 02.04.1966
PLACE OF BIRTH: Trojan, Bulgaria
WINE EDUCATION: Higher Institute of Agriculture, Plovdiv, Bulgaria, UC Davis, SRJC
CALIFORNIA WINE JOB BRIEF: Dry Creek Vineyards-1990-1999 as Assistant Winemaker/Cellar Master, Trentadue Winery-1999-present-Winemaker/VP of Production, Miro Cellars-2001-present. Also consulted and continue to consult for a few other small projects domestically and abroad. Currently serving on the Board of Directors for ZAP and “PS I Love you” organizations
WINEMAKING PHILOSOPHY: “Freedom of Expression”- meaning for Miro wines I source only vineyards that are interesting to me in regard of geology, soil types, location, grape growing styles, grape grower…etc. Not being confined to an “Estate” vineyard gives me the freedom of choice. If the vineyard does not deliver I move on. Great wines can be made without blue blooded heritage and a Chateau in the foreground.
CAREER HIGHLIGHT: Well I’m not sure what do you consider Highlight but if you mean wine scores I have a few 90 points and above from Wine Enthusiast, Parker, Wine Spectator, Connoisseur Guide, California Grapevine, top picks in New York Times, USA Today, and hundreds of Gold medals and Best of Class and a few Sweepstakes from wine competitions that matter.
I have met and tasted my wines one on one with Michelle Rolland (without paying for it) if that is considered an event but I found that to be very interesting. I have been on the pages of few wine publications. Once Dan Burger put me on the top 20 winemakers in the country… There is probably more that I don’t remember…
MIRO QUOTE: Just drink it-it is only wine!
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The location of the Trentadue Winery can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the Winery Says
Awards & Accolades:
Best of Class, Gold – 2009 Sonoma County Harvest Fair
Best of Class, Gold – 2009 Los Angeles International Wine
89 Points – Connoisseurs’ Guide to California Wine
About This Wine:
For the first time since it’s inception, the 2005 vintage of our Meritage is Cabernet Sauvignon based. The Cabernet grapes in our Geyserville Estate Alexander Valley vineyards thrive in the gravelly/sandy, well-drained soils and, year after year, show this varietal’s ability to produce complex, layered wines destined for aging and enjoying for many years to come. The wine is dark, viscous and complex, slowly revealing its richness with aeration.
The opening is intense with ripe plums, Bing cherries followed by smoky, chocolaty aromas. Further aeration reveals pronounced aromas of leather, brown sugar, molasses and slightly herbal nuances. Obviously very young at the time of these notes, the mouth feel of this wine is nevertheless rich, robust and hearty created for longevity. The body is full with well-structured tannins and balanced acidity leading to a long, firm finish. Aging potential: five to ten years.
Cheers! Miro Tcholakov – Winemaker
About The Winery:
The Trentadue family arrived in Sonoma County long before their region gained a reputation as the Wine Country. Life-long, hands-on agriculturists, Evelyn and Leo Trentadue contributed significantly to the advancement of their region over the years. In 1959, the Trentadues decided to flee the developers encroaching on their apricot and cherry orchards in Sunnyvale, the area known today around the world as Silicon Valley. To preserve their way of life, these hard-working Italian ranchers purchased 208 acres of land in Sonoma County’s then remote Alexander Valley.
There was little market for the region’s dry-farmed apples, prunes, pears, and grapes in the late 1950s, so land was cheap and plentiful. Scores of ranches were for sale but, because it was blessed with an excellent combination of climate, soil, and water, Leo settled on a special piece of property in the heart of the Alexander Valley. Little did he know what this ranch had once been, much less what it was to become.
The piece of land, which is now home to Trentadue Winery, has a remarkable history. In 1868, a French botanist named Andrew Bouton established Heart’s Desire Nursery on this excellent site east of the railroad tracks. With a passion for breeding new and improved strains of fruit trees, Bouton devoted himself to plant propagation, becoming a major supplier of young tree stock to orchardists throughout the western United States. His reputation attracted the attention of a young man named Luther Burbank who visited Bouton frequently. Influenced by Bouton, Burbank conducted his own work in nearby Sebastopol and Santa Rosa.
Leo Trentadue has a reputation for openness to new ideas. Over the years, this inveterate tinkerer has been among the first to experiment with what resulted in a number of viticultural/wine industry innovations. An overview of his unheralded achievements: From dry farming to irrigation. Horse drawn plows and dry farming were still practiced when the Trentadues arrived in the Alexander Valley. Leo introduced advanced irrigation practices common to his former home in Santa Clara County.
The Trentadues were among the very first to plant new vines in Sonoma County since the days of Prohibition. Italians love their red wines, especially hearty reds like Carignane. In 1962, the Trentadue family began planting new Carignane vines in addition to the 68 acres of old vines already growing on their ranch. Now more than 35 years old, these vines are among the oldest producing Carignane vineyards in America. The family remains steadfastly devoted to this grape, and their wine ranks indisputably among just a handful of top ranked California Carignane. Case in point: At the 1997 West Coast Wine Competition, Trentadue 1993 Carignane was awarded both a Gold Medal and Best of Class.
Understanding the importance of growing only those grape varieties, which excelled in his vineyards, in 1974 Leo installed half-acre blocks of eight different varietals. The quality of the Sangiovese was extraordinary, so all other vines were replanted to this famed variety from Tuscany. Because Evelyn and Leo share a Tuscan heritage, it is not surprising that in 1984 Trentadue was the first producer to release a 100% varietal wine named for this famed grape of Italy. The superior quality of this wine earned a Gold/Best of Class for the 1993 vintage at the 1995 Sonoma County Harvest Fair.
In 1987, Leo Trentadue encouraged his winemaker to experiment with fortified wines. An excellent Petite Sirah Port resulted, among the very first of its kind. The wine was well received, so a Merlot Port was added to the line. Both wines have consistently earned top awards, including a Gold/Best of Class at the 1997 National Orange Show.
This winery’s story cannot be told without mention of the Trentadues’ remarkable long-term relationship with Paul Draper of Ridge Vineyards. Their personal history began in 1952 when the Trentadues became Paul’s neighbor in Santa Clara, after buying an old abandoned wine estate at the end of Montebello Road. Paul began buying fruit from their ancient vines, striking up a friendship which continues to this day.
Both Draper and the Trentadues know a good thing when they see it. Draper was quick to benefit from the Trentadues’ aptitude for viticulture. The Trentadues have similarly benefited from Draper’s wine business savvy. Indeed, it is Draper who encouraged the family to take advantage of their location and establish an estate winery.
The list of mutual benefits derived from the Trentadue and Ridge association is extensive: Fruit from the Trentadues’ Geyserville estate has been sold to Ridge Vineyards every vintage since 1967. In 1974, Ridge Vineyard acquired the Trentadues’ mountaintop winery and vineyard today known as Montebello. Victor Trentadue manages not only 99 plus acres of his family’s estate-owned fruit contracted to Ridge, but is also entrusted to manage 188 additional acres of Dry Creek Valley grapes under contract nearby to Draper.
Varietals: 59% Cabernet Sauvignon, 21% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc, 8% Malbec, 2% Petite Verdot
Appellation: Alexander Valley Estate
Production: 1223 cases
Residual Sugar: 0.03%
Total Acid: 0.6g/100ml
Aging: 26 months in 44% new French oak, remainder in 2 year old French barrels
Bottled: August 2007
Release Date: July 2009
Winemaker: Miro Tcholakov