B Wise Vineyards

2006 Trios 'Proprietary Red'

Red Blend •Estate Vineyards

California: Sonoma County: Sonoma Valley

Offer Expired:Feb 18, 2011 at 11:59 pm
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Mission Codename: A Word to the Wise

Operative: Agent Red

Objective: Infiltrate B Wise Vineyards Estate, in Sonoma, California, and retrieve an exclusive allotment of their Trios 2006, a proprietary red blend that is wildly popular with the winery’s club members.

Mission Status: Accomplished!

Current Winery: B Wise Vineyards Estate

Wine Subject: Trios 2006 – Proprietary Red Blend, Sonoma Valley

Winemaker: Massimo Monticelli


The Sonoma Valley AVA is one of the oldest wine growing regions in California with the first vines being planted in the early 1800s. The AVA is located along California Route 12 and its eastern boundary are the southern end of the Mayacamas mountains. The unique micro-climate with less rainfall and fog than other parts of the region along with its unique soil provides ideal growing conditions for Cabernet Sauvignon and other red varietals. Today’s exceptional blend is comprised of 52% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Cabernet Franc, 21% Syrah, 17% Merlot and 2% Petite Verdot.

Wine Spies Tasting Profile:

Look – Dark burgundy with a darker, clear core. Bright ruby at the edge of the glass punctuate the gorgeous hues. When swirled, the wine shows a tight and fast-spinning surface. The wine settles quickly, leaving behind alternating clusters of slow, fat tears and faster, skinnier tears that run down the glass.

Smell – Candied black cherry leaps from the glass. This delicious aroma is soon joined by slightly smoky blackberry, blueberry, red apple skin, pencil shavings, kola nut, earth and soft spice.

Feel – Wet and semi-round on the initial attack. Then, softly weighty across the mid-palate. Ripe tannins and a bright acidity give the wine a lively but elegant feel. After the wine passes the rear-palate, a soft dryness sets in, spreading slowly from the center of the mouth, out to the lips and cheeks.

Taste – Jammy mixed fruit mingles with smoky fruit, minerals and toasted sweetwoods. Beginning with black cherry and mixed dark berries, flavors then progress to softly smoked Bing cherry and raspberry. Underneath these, are earthen flavors of graphite, brown spice and soft black pepper.

Finish – Very long and lingering, with sweet fruit flavors that tail off to reveal smoky flavors, minerals and spice.

Conclusion – This is a delicious blend that shows nearly perfect balance! With jammy, vibrant fruit that is tempered against more earthen flavors, this wine has something for every fan of great red blends. The nose is heavenly, with bold cherry that greets you and then introduces you to more serious earthy aromatics. On the palate, sweet is, again, followed by sincere mineral and smoky wood flavors – all delivered with a plush feel. This is a fantastic food wine, but our tasting panel also agreed that it is also a wine to be savored all on its own. Pair with nearly anything hearty. Serve to someone you want to impress.

Mission Report:


*SUBJECT: Massimo Monticelli


*CALIFORNIA WINE JOB BRIEF: Silver Oak Cellars, now consulting for various labels

*WINEMAKING PHILOSOPHY: Let the grapes speak for themselves




AGENT RED: Greetings, Massimo. We are thrilled to be showing your 2006 TRIOS today. Thanks so much for taking some time to answer questions for our Operatives today.

WINEMAKER: My pleasure, I love this job and meeting new people – especially spies!

RED: Was there a specific experience in your life that inspired your love of wine?

WINEMAKER: Yes, I was down in Southern California. I was a pre-med major in school, so I was volunteering in an Emergency room. I came home after long day in the ER and enjoyed a bottle of wine with a girl friend, at the end of that bottle, I knew my life was going to somehow involve wine. I quit the ER the next day, and started my path to winemaking.

RED: What wine or winemaker has most influenced your winemaking style?

WINEMAKER: Besides my father and grandfather, I have known and respected Phillipe Melka for a long time. I worked with his wife Cherie, and my brother worked for Phillipe. I see a common thread in his wines, and I really enjoy his style.

RED: Who do you make wine for?

WINEMAKER: I make wines that I enjoy….If no one likes my wine….I’ll drink it.

RED: Please tell me a little bit about the wine we are featuring today.

WINEMAKER: This is the second vintage from the Estate, a special blend. Lots of mineral notes and dark fruits and chocolate tannins, all characteristic of the vintage.

RED: What is your favorite pairing with today’s wine?

WINEMAKER: Whatever you are eating right now. I especially enjoy it with pasta Bolognese. Also, sometimes we do bacon-wrapped pork chops on the grill, that’s heavenly.

RED: In your opinion, what makes the Sonoma Valley vineyard, where today’s wine comes from, so special?

WINEMAKER: The hillside volcanic soil produces unique wines with great flavor, the vineyard boarders the famous Mt. Rosso vineyard, and I feel certain blocks are superior to the Mt. Rosso vineyard.

RED: What is occupying your time at the winery these days?

WINEMAKER: Physically I am topping and racking, but mentally, I am working on the 2009 Blends to be bottled in July

RED: How would you recommend people approach your wines and wine in general?

WINEMAKER: Just enjoy it in your own style. Different personalities enjoy wine differently. I have a friend who will only drink wine from a tumbler, I have another who needs to have not just a stem but the correct stemware for the appropriate style of
the wine. Both of my friends really enjoy wine….they are both correct. My advice is don’t get distracted by the other stuff, about wine, about life – and just enjoy yourself and your wine.

RED: Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?

WINEMAKER: Your mood will change the flavor of a wine, an angry taster will taster bitter wines. A happy taster will taste fruitiness. A taster in love, will taste the most amazing wines in the world. I know it’s cheesy, but it’s true.

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!

Wine Spies Vineyard Check:

The location of the B Wise Vineyards can be seen in this satellite photo.

What the Winery Says

About This Wine:

The wine is purplish red in the glass with wonderful blackberry, cassis, and black cherry fruits. Aromas of mineral, graphite, cola, smoky-oak char, spice and loamy earth nuance are interlaced with the luscious fruit. Warm and generous in the mouth, the wine is well structured and balanced, offering good length and a plush finish.

The TRIOS ‘Proprietary Red’ 2006 is the best American red wine blend at the price point. A unique expression of a special vineyard site on Sonoma’s Monte Rosso (Red Mountain), it brings together classic noble varietals in a non-traditional blend. The blend is driven by Cabernet, Merlot & Syrah. This blend makes a more complete wine and therefore a more satisfying wine drinking experience. The TRIOS blend is named for the three main grape varietals.

The Trios Red Blend has the elegance of a Sonoma Valley wine coupled with the structure of a Napa Valley Cabernet. In the 2006 blend we increased the Cabernet component and pulled-back the Syrah as we hone-in on the best blend our Estate can produce.

About The Winery:

B Wise Vineyards is the vision of founder and proprietor Brion Wise. Since the days of his youth on the family apple farm in Yakima Washington, Brion has had the dream of growing vines and making wine.

It was a long, circuitous road from his dad’s homemade fruit wines to forays with great Bordeaux and Tuscan Cabernet along the way. However Brion’s passion for wine built over time and the search for a few acres to call his own began during the 1980’s. Back then, one search for the right spot almost lead to the Dry Creek area, but never came to fruition. It wasn’t until friends settled in the northern California wine country that the earnest pursuit of his dream resumed.

In 2002, Brion staked his claim in California’s Sonoma Valley. He forged our beautiful wine estate in the Sonoma Valley from the raw, rugged hillsides of the famed Red Mountain (Monte Rosso) from the ground up. On the path of fulfilling his childhood dream, Brion planted and developed the vineyards, pairing the unique qualities of the site with the latest information on vines and grapes. Later, he engineered and dug a stunning wine cave for barrel aging our wines. Currently he is in the process of finalizing plans and development of the Estate winery. An on-going endeavor, Brion’s goal is to produce authentic, exceptional, world-class wine.

To achieve that goal, Brion has also assembled an extraordinary wine-growing team. Since the first vintage of B Wise Vineyards wines our 4th generation winemaker, Massimo Monticelli has dedicatedly handcrafted all our small lot wines. In 2006 acclaimed viticulturalist Ulises Valdez (Paul Hobbes) joined our team with the aim of further refining our wine growing on the Estate in Sonoma. Long-time Sonoma vineyard manager, Enrique Castillo has overseen our grape growing from the inception of the vineyards. Pulling the talents of the team together Brion is intimately involved with both the viticulture and the winemaking at B Wise Vineyards.

From the beginning our focus and our passion at B Wise Vineyards has been one thing: Cabernet Sauvignon. We produce red wines based around Cabernet and complimented with the noble Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Malbec, Petite Verdot and Syrah suite of grapes. Our uncompromising approach within each stage of wine growing ensures only the best wines get put into our bottles. Our driving philosophy is quality above all. It is this drive from earth to glass that you taste in every one of our wines.

B Wise Vineyards is an Estate based, artisan winery producing 3000 cases annually. Our Estate is in the Sonoma Valley AVA in the foothills of the Mayacamas Mountains adjacent to the famed Monte Rosso vineyard and was planted to vine by Brion Wise in 2002. There are 20 acres of vines planted predominately to Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Merlot. Our low-yield, hillside vineyards are hand-tended and hand-harvested. Our wines are matured in French oak barrels and released only after being bottle aged.

PEOPLE: Since 2002 the vision of proprietor Brion Wise has been to make outstanding, small-lot wines of the highest quality from both our Sonoma Estate and fine Napa Valley vineyards. Since our inception our winemaker Massimo Monticelli (formerly of Silver Oak) has worked in conjunction with our vineyard manager Enrique Castillo and our viticulture consultant Ulises Valdez (Paul Hobbes) to produce terroir expressive wines from our Sonoma Estate under our TRIOS label and most recently our new B Wise Vineyards label.

OUR WINES: We produce primarily two wines; a Sonoma Blend called TRIOS and a Napa Cabernet called BRION. TRIOS ‘Proprietary Red’ 2007, is the third Estate release of this wine. It is a delicious easy drinking wine with everyday appeal and versatility, made from 100% Estate grown fruit. The TRIOS is a blend of Bordeaux & Rhone varietals dominated by Cabernet Sauvignon with Merlot and Syrah making up the other major components.

The B Wise Vineyards BRION label is our flagship Cabernet Sauvignon produced from a singular vineyard in the Napa Valley’s Coombsville district. Since 2002 we’ve worked with grower Richard Bennett to produce small-lots of signature Cabernet from his highly sought after Twin-Cedars vineyard (Merus, Kobalt, Phelps). Small portions of the nearby Caldwell Vineyards Cabernet are added for additional layering in select vintages.

Technical Analysis:

Composition: 52% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Cabernet Franc, 21% Syrah, 17% Merlot, 2% Petite Verdot.

Oak: 25% New French, 75% 2nd & 3rd

Alcohol: 14%

Winemaker: Massimo Monticelli

Vineyards: 100% Estate Vineyards

Appellation: 100% Sonoma Valley AVA

Production: 2,207 cases

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