What We Say 2004 Two Rock Block Cabernet Sauvignon
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Mission Codename: Everything old is new again
Operative: Agent Red
Objective: Respond to reports the Old World Winery has a fantastic Cabernet Sauvignon, worthy of Operatives exacting tastes. If the wine is up to our standards, secure an ample allotment.
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Old World Winery
Wine Subject: 2004 Two Rock Red Wine Cabernet Sauvignon
Winemaker: Darek Trowbridge
Backgrounder:The Sonoma Coast AVA is the 750 square mile area with the Pacific ocean on its western boundary, the San Pablo Bay to the south and Mendocino County to the north, headed inland to the other designated AVAs in Sonoma County. The region is heavily influenced by the cooler ocean climate, increased rainfall and fog that lingers long on the coastal mountains.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Deep, dark, inky and dense, with dark heart and a rim of beautiful dark purple. When swirled, the wine settles quickly. Before it does settle, skinny, wine-stained legs streak quickly down the glass.
Smell – Bold rushes of blackberry, black cherry, dark raspberry, red currant, and dark plum wash over the nose. These overlay earthen baked figs, black pepper spice and fresh French garden herbs.
Feel – Big and chewy with a solid structure, this full-bodied wine is initially round and soft on entry, but then becomes quickly mouth-filling. Bright acidity is supported by bold tannins and big, dark fruit.
Taste – Bold dark flavors are tempered against softer fruit and earthen characteristics. The flavors are lead by brambly blackberry, black cherry, overripe raspberry and baked plums, with black spice, dried fig, dried fall leaves, back spice and a sharp note, at the end, of pronounced black pepper.
Finish – Persistent and very flavorful, with lingering black fruit and soft spice that tails off gradually, drying as it goes, and leaving behind a black pepper note at the very end.
Conclusion – This is a great wine from a really wonderful winemaker! I had the great honor to convene an informal tasting panel with a group of Operatives recently, and I invited Darek to come and present a few of his wines to us. We gathered for dinner at [REDACTED], in the outskirts of the west Sonoma County town of Sebastopol. We tasted a few other wines, with Darek tasting along with us. It was obvious from his comments, that this was a man who loved wine – and respected great winemaking. When we opened Darek’s wines, we were treated to a passionate first-hand description of the wine and, as he tasted along with the group, we were treated to stories of his winemaking ancestors, descriptions of his traditional winemaking techniques and more. As for the wine, we all loved it! Full-bodied, robust and delicious, this is a real food wine that went with all of the varied cuisine at the table – even the rich desserts. If you enjoy a big wine with a refined heart, please give this wine a good whirl!
WINEMAKER INTEL BRIEFING DOSSIER_
SUBJECT: Derek Trowbridge
WINE EDUCATION: Masters Degree: Enology, Fresno State (CSU) 1997, Bachelors Degree: Viticulture, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo 1993
CALIFORNIA WINE JOB BRIEF: 1987-1994 Martinelli Vineyards and Winery, 1994-1997 Viticuture and Enology Research Center (VERC) CSU Fresno, 1997-2003 Everett Ridge Vineyards and Winery (Vineyard Manager), 1998-Present Old World Winery Owner/Winemaker
WINEMAKING PHILOSOPHY: Wine the way it was made 100 years ago: Yeasts from the vineyard, A little Sulfur, Hand Labor with limited technology, Gravity processing without pumping, Ambient Heating and Cooling
WINEMAKER QUOTE: ”Old World Winery’s vision is to create vineyards and wines that delight the senses and nourish the soul, while providing sustenance to the very land which offers up these gifts and the people whom are so honored to receive them.”
FIRST COMMERCIAL WINE RELEASE: 1998 – Old World Winery’s First Vintage
AGENT RED: Please tell me a little bit about the wine we are featuring today.
DAREK TROWBRIDGE: The Two Rock is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah grown side by side at the Bei Du Rocchi Vineyard. They were both picked on the same day and fermented together, allowing the flavors to completely integrate before bottling. The Bei du Rocchi Ranch, located in the Sonoma Coast, has been owned and operated by the Bei family for four generations. The ranch lays one ridgeline from the Pacific Ocean on an easterly saddle that is protected from the cool winds by Pole Mountain. With an elevation of 1,600 feet, the fog usually rests below the vineyard, allowing for hot afternoons, which benefits the ripening of Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah in an appellation that is considered to be mostly Pinot Noir country.
RED: What is your favorite pairing with today’s wine?
DAREK: This Cabernet melds wonderfully with a hearty steak, especially with pepper, but secretly I enjoy this wine most with a chunk of very dark chocolate. It’s a big wine which is really in its place at the end of a night by the fire.
RED: In your opinion, what makes the Sonoma Coast so special?
DAREK: The Sonoma Coast is a rare place to find Cabernet Sauvignon and that’s what makes this wine so special. The vineyard is at 1600 foot elevation which puts it above the fog line and the resulting extra sunshine provides for a much warmer sub-climate than in the rest of the region. The proximity of the vineyard to the Pacific Ocean makes for cooler than usual nights. The resulting flavors are exotic compared to typical Cabernet Sauvignon.
RED: What is occupying your time at the winery these days?
DAREK: I’ve been busy checking vineyards and we’ll have our first harvest of the year this week with some Pinot Gris. Our tasting room is a new development this year and I’ve been spending considerable time with customers in this artistic setting fashioned with antique and reclaimed materials that I designed and helped build. The site is a piece of Sonoma County heritage with my Craftsman-Era home built in 1916 and the barrel barn where Williams Selyem Winery made wine with my grandfather’s grapes in the 1980’s.
RED: Thank you so much for your time. We learned a lot about you and your wine. Keep up the great work, we are big fans!
What the Winery Says
Old World Winery
About This Wine:
This unique blend is very dark in color, and the nose provides a heavy dose of raspberries, black currents, charcoal, and sweet herbs with a hint of pepper. The fruit is bright but the structure is huge with an extremely rich, chewy texture.
About The Winery:
At Old World Winery we strive to make wines that are true to their vineyards, not only a creation of man but that of nature as well. While we don’t ignore the technological advancements in winemaking, we don’t add anything to the wine except for sulfur, including yeast. We strongly believe using native yeast is the best way to produce a wine which expresses its origin and uniqueness.
Winemaking Technique: Our wines are handcrafted in small lots with little manipulation. We pick early in the morning so the grapes start off cold. We don’t use any refrigeration other than the sun and the shade, and nothing is added to the must except a small amount of protective sulfur.
Fermentations are allowed to be carried out solely by native yeasts at their own pace. Each vineyard site has its own blend of yeast strains, and we believe utilizing these rather than laboratory developed yeasts is the best way to create a wine which displays true characteristics of the vineyard in which it is grown. White wines are fermented in barrel and reds in one-ton fermenters. After pressing, malolactic fermentation is allowed to occur in barrel with native strains at a slow rate.
During barrel aging the wines are not disturbed except for periodic topping and barrel tasting. Our wines age in 60 gallon barrels provided by small French coopers; white wines are in oak for about 8 months before bottling and red wines about 20 months. These techniques all combined help achieve our goal to create wines which are unique to their vineyard, varietal, and vintage.
About The Winemaker:
Darek throughout his whole life has had a passion for wine and winemaking. Darek began studying wine at a young age with his grandfather, Lino Martinelli who, like his father, Giuseppe, was growing grapes locally. Lino taught Darek the “old world” style of winemaking with the consideration that everything a vintner does in the vineyard and in the winery affects the flavors of the wines. Darek now uses what his grandfather taught him as a basis to make the best wine possible.
Education: Darek, who has essentially been studying wine his whole life, received a bachelor’s degree from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo in Viticulture (Grape Growing). During this phase of education, Darek worked at Martinelli Vineyards and Winery for his uncle, Lee Martinelli, a former teacher, who taught Darek the ins and outs of production agriculture, machinery fabrication, and multiple ranch farming. Darek later went on to complete a Masters Degree from Fresno State in Enology (Winemaking). During his time at Fresno State Darek worked for the Viticulture and Enology Research Center, a privately funded research facility focused on improving the quality of grapes and wine.
About Old World Winery: Darek founded Old World Winery in 1998 while working as Vineyard Manager at Everett Ridge Winery. As winemaker and proprietor, Darek is able to combine all of his skills, old world and new world, to make the wines he had always dreamed of mastering. Located in the Russian River Valley on the site where the winery William-Selyem was founded, Old World Winery is adamant about quality and making the best quality wine possible. We are located on River Road, just off of Highway 101 in Sonoma County, making our small winery a highly desirable place to visit. Just give us a call, and we’ll give you a “Taste of the Place!”
Appellation: Sonoma Coast
Blend: 92% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Syrah
Harvest Dates: September 14, 2004
Time in Oak: 20 Months
Oak: 100% French Oak
Bottling date: June 26, 2006
Production: 234 cases