2007 Napa Valley Meritage
California: Napa Valley
What We Say
SUPERIOR WINE ALERT:
Today’s selection from Trinitas Cellars is truly an exceptional wine at at today’s price of 25% off is also an exceptional value.
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Mission Codename: Flag Signals
Operative: Agent White
Objective: Revisit Trinitas Cellars and retrieve their flagship Meritage
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Trinitas Cellars
Wine Subject: 2007 Napa Valley Meritage
Winemaker: Kevin Mills
Meritage (pronounce like ‘heritage’, no French style accent) wine, blends made in the tradition of the great wines of Bordeaux can only carry the name if the winery is a member of The Meritage Association based in Sonoma County. Most wines made in the US are varietal wines, comprised of over 75% of a single varietal. Unfortunately, this labeling requirement is believed to impair many winemakers from making exceptional blends, since they are often labeled as simply Red Table Wine with the noble grapes of Bordeaux. Thus in 1988 Meritage was born as a way to highlight the winemaker’s art of careful blending and crafting of wines in the tradition of some of Europe’s finest wines.
Today’s selection is 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 37% Cabernet Franc, 14% Merlot, 9% Malbec and is aged for 18 months in 100% new French Oak.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Deep purple with crimson and ruby reflections through its dense dark but clear core. Along the edges, the color remains dense but slightly lighter purple and when swirled, slow fat legs creep down the side of the glass and thin as they descend.
Smell – Medium in intensity with a youthful quality. Smokey herbs layered over sweet ripe bramble fruits and other dark berries. Complex notes of earthiness and anise blend with toasted vanilla, mocha coffee and dark chocolate.
Feel – Smooth and rich with a slight spice kick at mid-palate, this youthful wine show tremendous finesse with its finely textured tannins and mild but balanced acidity. Mouth-coating and almost chewy, with a structure that lingers long into the finish.
Taste – Flavors of vibrant and ripe blackberry, black cherry and plum are well integrated with toasted oak, mocha coffee, subtle anise and complex dried herbs as well as a hint of earthiness and dark chocolate.
Finish – Clean and long with the rich and vivid fruit supported by a smooth but mouth-coating tannic structure. Hints of dark chocolate and and mocha emerge just in time to invite another sip.
Conclusion – The 2007 Trinitas Cellars Napa Valley Meritage is a delicious and truly California-styled red blend that is showing tremendous elegance, even in its youth. Rich and vibrant fruit blend with other complex flavors make this wine very approachable. Drinking wonderfully right now, this lovely wine will continue to develop for years to come so be sure to hold a bottle or two back int he cellar – that is if you can.
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
About This Wine:
Our flagship red starts with explosive red fruit and black cherry on the nose followed by cola berry, chocolate, smoke, and anise. The mouth is full, supple and rich. Flavors of chocolate, espresso, and plum add to the lengthy finish.
The Winemaking: Our hand crafted 2007 Meritage blend was aged for 18 months in 100% new French Oak. 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 37% Cabernet Franc, 14% Merlot, 9% Malbec.
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.
Varietals: 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 37% Cabernet Franc, 14% Merlot, 9% Malbec
Oak: 18 months in 100% new French Oak
Cases Produced: 535