Trione Vineyards & Winery
2006 Alexander Valley Cab Sauv Block 21
California: Sonoma County: Alexander Valley
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Mission Codename: 21 Skidoo
Operative: Agent Red
Objective: Infiltrate Trione Vineyards & Winery, an Alexander Valley that is making waves in thee wine world, with their distinctive and delicious wines. Secure an ample cache of their 2006 vintage Cabernet Sauvignon for our eager Operatives.
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Trione Vineyards & Winery
Wine Subject: 2006 Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon Block 21
Winemaker: Scot Covington
Backgrounder: Today’s Cabernet Sauvignon comes to us from our new friends at Trione Vineyards & Winery, in Sonoma County’s Alexander Valley. The Alexander Valley AVA 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 Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Reminiscent of dark red cherry juice, this wine has gorgeous concentration of color. From the core to the edges of the wine, color remains consistent. The wine has a dense and bouncy look when swirled. As it settles, wide legs move slowly down the glass.
Smell – This wine leads with an aroma that reminded our tasting panel of an Italian Amarone – with candied currant, cherry cordial (liquor) and dried dates- with just a hint of dried cranberry. As the wine opens up, softer aromas of cherry, bramble, clove, oak and dried red flower petals.
Feel – Plush and very smooth, this wine has a with a wonderful softness on the entry. As it settles onto the palate, it takes on a crushed velvet feel that spreads throughout the palate. Smooth tannins are supported by a tempered acidity.
Taste – Dark and very complex with bold black and red fruit, lead by overripe blackberry, black plum, dried currant and candied cherry. These are followed by flavors of black cherry, toasted oak, clove with fresh and dried herbs. These flavors eventually yield to dark minerals, black pepper and crushed red flower petals.
Finish – Very long and vibrant, with a red fruits yielding to black fruits. At the tail end minerals and black pepper are driven into the end of the finish by the wines balanced acidity.
Conclusion – The 2006 Trione Vineyards and Winery Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is a bold and bright wine that delivers the complexity and balance that we have come to associate with Cabs from thee region. The Alexander Valley is home to vineyards that are composed of gravel, clay, and volcanic soils, producing wines of distinctive character and bold flavor. Today’s wine is a delicious, complex, flavorful and elegant example of Cabernet from the region. Enjoy with a grilled steak – or all on its own.
WINEMAKER INTEL BRIEFING DOSSIER
SUBJECT: Scot Covington
WINE EDUCATION: Winemaker Scot Covington has been hand crafting wines for TrioneVineyards & Winery since the winery’s inception in 2005. A Fresno State University graduate with a degree in Enology, Scot began his career learning the nuances of Chardonnay from Bill Bonnetti at Sonoma Cutrer. He went on to further his craft working for Gallo Sonoma, spending seasons in South Africa and Australia, and most recently working closely with friend and winemaker Merry Edwards at Pellegrini Winery.
WINEMAKER QUOTE: “Art shows itself to the artist, wine shows itself to the winemaker”
FAVORITE QUOTE: “Life so short, the craft so long to learn”
AGENT RED: Greetings, Scot Covington. We are thrilled to be showing your 2006 Alexander Valley, Block 21 Cabernet Sauvignon today. Thanks so much for taking some time to answer questions for our Operatives today.
SCOT COVINGTON: Thank you, It is a pleasure to be with you.
RED: Was there a specific experience in your life that inspired your love of wine?
SCOT: I would have to say it was back in college when I was taking my general education classes, I took a viticulture course as an elective, we visited the then very new Sonoma Cutrer Vineyards which was in the heart of the Russian River Valley, this was back in 1986 or 87. It was a stunningly new facility and I was blown away by the level of detail they were using in creating what was to them the true California White Burgundy. It was a stunning place and I decided then and there that winemaking was what I wanted to pursue as a career.
RED: What wine or winemaker has most influenced your winemaking style?
SCOT: Well, that’s a tough question to answer. I think as a winemaker, my style has been influenced throughout my career by all the winemaker’s that I have worked with, but I would have to say most recently and the most influential I would have been Merry Edwards of Merry Edwards Wines, she was a pioneer in crafting her wines based on her belief that great vineyards and great sites make great wines. Her meticulous appreciation to detail in every step in the creation of wines was an inspiration to me and one that I have learned from and have tried to incorporate into my winemaking methods.
RED: Who do you make wine for?
SCOT: That’s easy, I make wine for myself and for the wine lover that wants true expression of what defines Sonoma County. I think our Russian River Valley wines show true Russian River qualities as does our Reds from the Alexander Valley.
RED: Please tell me a little bit about the wine we are featuring today?
SCOT: Our Trione Vineyard & Winery 2006 Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon Block 21 is pure Alexander Valley. The wine comes from a single vineyard block at the northern end of Alexander Valley. The vineyard is tucked up just at the western slope of the Mayacama Mountain range. The vineyard is planted to a dense planting of 1815 vines per acre. It is all clone 337 which is a very high quality Bordeaux selection of Cabernet Sauvignon. The wine is crushed and fermented in small open top fermenters with a unique cap management system of irrigation. I pump the wine over once a day during cold soak then increase the amount throughout the fermentation, peaking at 15 minutes every hour during the most active period of fermentation. This method helps to extract the color and flavor components of the Cabernet grapes as well as giving the yeast plenty of oxygen which helps to facilitate a complete fermentation.
RED: What is your favorite pairing with today’s wine?
SCOT: Wow, another tough question! I like lots of roasted meats with our Cabernets. I think currently I thought of a favorite recipe of mine which is called Soupas. It is a marinated chuck roast of beef with spices, slow cooked for hours on the stove in a Dutch oven with red wine, cloves, spices, tomatoes, and other things. Poured over a crusty loaf of sourdough bread and a glass of our Cabernet is heaven.
RED: In your opinion, what makes the Alexander Valley so special?
SCOT: The climate, the soil, the people and the history of Alexander Valley make it so special. I think the Italian immigrants that settled in this area in the early part of California’s history knew just what they were looking for. I think the climate is very similar to parts of Italy, and they (the early settlers) knew that the climate and soil and water were perfect for growing great grapes.
RED: What is occupying your time at the winery these days?
SCOT: Well, this is a great time in the cellar. We are just starting to evaluate the wines from last year as they are just coming out of the winter and starting to taste great. We are also getting ready to bottle wine from the ’09 and ’08 vintages so things are still busy in the cellar.
RED: How would you recommend people approach your wine and wines in general?
SCOT: As a part of life! I think that the Trione wines are very approachable, not complicated and speak for themselves. The wines scream Sonoma County quality and are very easily paired with foods from across the gastronomic palate.
RED: Is there anything else you ‘d like to share with our readers?
SCOT: Just that I invite you to come for a visit and see what we are all about. We are a real brick & mortar winery that has been growing grapes for over 30 years in Sonoma County. Come check out what makes our wines so special.
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.
SCOT: Thank you. Cheers!
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The location of the Alexander Valley AVA in Sonoma County can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the Winery Says
About This Wine:
The Cabernet Sauvignon is from a single block of Cabernet Sauvignon from our Cloverdale Ranch, block 21. The wine is composed mainly of Cabernet Sauvignon although there is a small percentage of the classic Bordeaux varieties Merlot, Petite Verdot and Malbec. The Merlot is from our Geyserville Ranch block 1, the Petite Verdot and Malbec are from our Cloverdale Ranch blocks 17 and 18 respectively. The varietal breakdown is 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot, 2.5% Petite Verdot and 2.5% Malbec.
Youthful tannins, aromas of currant, sage and allspice dominate the nose. The palate is vibrant will velvety tannins which is drinking wonderfully now and will age gracefully over the next 5-10 years.
Winemaking: This Cabernet was made using a unique cap irrigation device that brings in oxygen as the free-run wine is being circulated over the cap during the peak of fermentation. This technique ensures the complexing of tannins with the color compounds found in the grapes as well as maximizing proper yeast cell health and viability. After fermentation, the wine stayed in contact with the cap for 5 weeks undergoing a process called extended maceration. Extended maceration “softens” the tannins in the wine and builds mouth feel.
About The Winery:
For over three decades, the Trione family has raised premium grapes that have been the foundation of many award-winning wines.
Now we bring our grapes to you in wines bottled under our own label, Trione Vineyards & Winery.
It is the culmination of our family’s long commitment to Sonoma County.
For 35 harvests, for 35 Septembers, our family has carefully farmed and managed some of the finest grapes in Sonoma County. With painstaking devotion to the land, three generations – Henry Trione, sons Mark and Vic, and Mark’s daughter Denise – have developed a reputation for producing premium grapes. Our wines are characteristic of the appellations in which they are grown: the cool, slow-ripening flavors of the Russian River Valley and the rich, dark-berry essence of the Alexander Valley.
Over these many harvest seasons, we have owned and managed more than 700 acres of the best grapes and soils in these highly respected Sonoma County appellations. We have learned to balance and blend the gifts of nature with state-of-the-art winemaking. Our grapes have been the foundation of many award-winning wines. Now we bring our grapes to you in wines bottled under our own label, Trione Vineyards & Winery.
We are passionate about family and tradition, especially traditions that include good food and good wine. Our vineyards, our wines – and our winery – have been a labor of love, the culmination of our family’s long tradition of dedication to Sonoma County. Please share a bottle of wine from the Trione Vineyards and Winery with your family and friends, and taste our commitment to excellence. Salute!
Harvest Dates: Merlot September 27th, Petite Verdot September 30th, & Malbec October 12th, and Cabernet Sauvignon October 16th.
Appellation: Alexander Valley
New oak type/percentage: Taransaud, Vicard and Bouset – 45% new
Barrel age: 24 months
Bottling date/ bottle age/release date: January 21, ‘09/18 months/ September 1, ‘10
Rs: g/L 0.06