2007 Carneros Chardonnay
California: Sonoma County: Carneros
What We Say
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Mission Codename: The Holy Trinitas – Redux
Operative: Agent White
Objective: Revisit Trinitas Cellars and investigate their Carneros Chardonnay
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Trinitas Cellars
Wine Subject: 2007 Carneros Chardonnay
Winemaker: Kevin Mills
Carneros Chardonnay is revered for its quality, elegance and smoothness. The Carneros viticultural area, a wine growing region which straddles the Napa Valley and Sonoma Valley, has been a great source of wine that we have featured here. Always, those wine have been of supreme quality. The cool Carneros region provides ideal growing conditions for Chardonnay and Chardonnay literally thrives there. Trinitas’ Chardonnay is truly representative of the region and is fast becoming a Wine Spies operative favorite.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Straw-yellow and becoming light gold in color at its core hinting at this wine’s pending maturity. When swirled, this wines slightly viscous texture is revealed and evenly spaced medium-thick legs quickly descend down the side of the glass.
Smell – Medium in intensity with developed aromas of tropical fruit, fresh ripe figs and a hint of citrus are balanced over toasty sweet vanilla, hints of hazelnuts, smoke and spice and a tiny touch of honey.
Feel – Medium-bodied, rich and slightly creamy in texture with a touch of tang and spice backed by a slight mineral note that is well balanced over its smooth mouth-feel.
Taste – Well integrated and classic flavors of tropical fruit and melon along with sweet mandarin orange, ripe figs and a tiny pineapple tanginess that are layered over a slightly smokey and toasty vanilla-oak component, a little creamy butter, some soft spice and a hit of flinty minerality.
Finish – Clean and medium in length with exceptional balance between this wine’s crispness and creaminess. Lingering flavors of ripe fig, creamy butter and spice.
Conclusion – The 2007 Trinitas Cellars Carneros Chardonnay is a lovely California styled and classic Chardonnay that shows excellent balance, finesse and elegance. Not overly oaked or a butter-ball either but still showing those requisit aromas and flavors in the perfect proportion to its fruit and complex spice and smokiness. This wine is ideally suited to pairing with all of your spring food creations or for enjoying on a warm afternoon pre-barbecue.
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
Trinitas Cellars, Member, Napa Valley Vintners
Awards & Accolades:
“Shows a ripe, smoky, mature mix of flavors, with toasty oak, ripe fig and melon, ending with tart sour lemon notes. Medium-weight.” – Wine Spectator
About This Wine:
Our 2007 Carneros Chardonnay is the quintessential California Chardonnay. This wine was 100% barrel fermented, sur lie aged, and has completed 100% malolactic fermentation. It displays classic aromas of lemon, green apple, pear, butter, vanilla, and toast.
The Winemaking: We picked the grapes for this wine at 24.7° brix, settled, racked, and fermented in New American Oak. 100% malolactic, surlees aged.
The Vineyard: These grapes are from Sonoma Carneros. The area is famous for its valley fog-cooled climate and well drained soils resulting in some of California’s finest Chardonnay grapes.
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.
Cases Produced: 1,410