Trentadue Winery

2006 La Storia Cabernet Sauvignon

Cabernet Sauvignon

California: Sonoma County: Alexander Valley

Offer Expired:Jan 26, 2010 at 11:59 pm
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Mission Codename: History in the bottle

Operative: Agent Red

Objective: Secure a pre-release reserve Cabernet Sauvignon from Trentadue Winery in Sonoma County’s pristine Alexander Valley

Mission Status: Accomplished!

Current Winery: Trentadue

Wine Subject: 2006 Trentadue La Storia Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

Winemaker: Miro Tcholakov

Backgrounder: Alexander Valley 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. Read Agent Red’s detailed tasting notes and winemaker interview, below

Wine Spies Tasting Profile:

Look – Dark garnet with a darker but perfectly clear heart of deeper garnet. The edges of the wine show a beautiful and brilliant bright ruby red. Spin the wine in the glass and take note of the softly flowing appearance of the wine. When it settles, it leaves behind two levels of tightly-packed and skinny tears that move slowly down the edge of the glass.

Smell – Beautifully fragrant, leading with aromas of bright red candied cherry, raspberry, dark cherry. These are easily accompanied by follow-on aromas of dried fall leaves, soft leather, subtle mint, soft mixed spice and a hint of black licorice.

Feel – Fine and light weight on entry, the more lush and medium bodied. This wine is soft on its initial attack, then medium-fine tannins make an appearance. The wine is bright and mouth-coating, providing your palate with a full and interesting experience.

Taste – Delicious, bright and rich, with flavors that evolve on the palate. Flavors lead with juicy red cherry, blackberry, cassis, sweet red plum, bramble, light spice and a hint of black pepper.

Finish – Clean and crisp, with bright fruit, a soft earthiness and subtle hints of leather and black licorice. The wine evolves in your mouth, moving from lush and soft, to more bright and dry, with soft white minerals.

Conclusion – The 2006 Trentadue La Storia Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon is a delicious wine that evolves and expands on your palate. Your senses will delight at the gorgeous aromatics, the delicious, emerging flavors and great mouth feel. This is a wine that invites exploration, so be sure to decant and take your time with each glass that you enjoy. Bright and flavorful, this wine is a fantastic companion to most meals. Enjoy some now, but cellar a few bottles for the next several years and be duly rewarded. Cheers to Trentadue and Wine Spies favorite winemaker, Miro Tcholakov (aka Agent KGB)

Mission Report:


SUBJECT: Miro Tcholakov

DATE OF BIRTH: 02.04.1966

PLACE OF BIRTH: Trojan, Bulgaria

WINE EDUCATION: Higher Institute of Agriculture, Plovdiv, Bulgaria, UC Davis, SRJC

CALIFORNIA WINE JOB BRIEF: Dry Creek Vineyards-1990-1999 as Assistant Winemaker/Cellar Master, Trentadue Winery-1999-present-Winemaker/VP of Production, Miro Cellars-2001-present. Also consulted and continue to consult for a few other small projects domestically and abroad. Currently serving on the Board of Directors for ZAP and “PS I Love you” organizations

WINEMAKING PHILOSOPHY: “Freedom of Expression”- meaning for Miro wines I source only vineyards that are interesting to me in regard of geology, soil types, location, grape growing styles, grape grower…etc. Not being confined to an “Estate” vineyard gives me the freedom of choice. If the vineyard does not deliver I move on. Great wines can be made without blue blooded heritage and a Chateau in the foreground.

CAREER HIGHLIGHT: Well I’m not sure what do you consider Highlight but if you mean wine scores I have a few 90 points and above from Wine Enthusiast, Parker, Wine Spectator, Connoisseur Guide, California Grapevine, top picks in New York Times, USA Today, and hundreds of Gold medals and Best of Class and a few Sweepstakes from wine competitions that matter.

I have met and tasted my wines one on one with Michelle Rolland (without paying for it) if that is considered an event but I found that to be very interesting. I have been on the pages of few wine publications. Once Dan Burger put me on the top 20 winemakers in the country… There is probably more that I don’t remember…

MIRO QUOTE: Just drink it-it is only wine!

Wine Spies Vineyard Check:

The location of the Trentadue Winery can be seen in this satellite photo.

What the Winery Says

About This Wine:

The History of fine winemaking for the Trentadue family goes back several generations. In keeping with tradition we offer you our frst Cabernet Sauvignon with La Storia Reserve designation. We are pleased to share this delightful wine with you, your friends and your family.

Winemaker Notes: The 2006 vintage will be remembered as the one with heavy rainfall in the winter and cool summer. The long ripening season provided extra “hang time” for the grapes and thus produced wines with great depth and superb balance of acid and tannins. Following the abundant 2005 vintage, 2006 had relatively low yields contributing to more intense favor and overall concentration. The Cabernet in this blend was selected from our best block, 901, and the grapes were hand picked at 2:00 AM, which was still very cold for maximum freshness. After a few days of cold maceration, the fermentiation was started and completed in seven days. The wine was left on the skins for extended maceration for an additional 22 days. After pressing and several rackings, the wine was aged in 65% new French and other European barrels for about a year and then blended and aged for an additional nine months.

The wine is classic Alexander Valley with a nose of ripe sweet cherry and plums, developed aromas of leather, licorice and hints of cocoa powder and molasses. With more aeration, additional aromas of vanilla, brown sugar and slight earthiness complete this wine. The mouth feel is balanced and not heavy with a long and pleasant fnish. The wine should be age well with proper cellaring for another six to nine years.

Cheers! Miro Tcholakov

About The Winery:

The Trentadue family arrived in Sonoma County long before their region gained a reputation as the Wine Country. Life-long, hands-on agriculturists, Evelyn and Leo Trentadue contributed significantly to the advancement of their region over the years. In 1959, the Trentadues decided to flee the developers encroaching on their apricot and cherry orchards in Sunnyvale, the area known today around the world as Silicon Valley. To preserve their way of life, these hard-working Italian ranchers purchased 208 acres of land in Sonoma County’s then remote Alexander Valley.

There was little market for the region’s dry-farmed apples, prunes, pears, and grapes in the late 1950s, so land was cheap and plentiful. Scores of ranches were for sale but, because it was blessed with an excellent combination of climate, soil, and water, Leo settled on a special piece of property in the heart of the Alexander Valley. Little did he know what this ranch had once been, much less what it was to become.

The piece of land, which is now home to Trentadue Winery, has a remarkable history. In 1868, a French botanist named Andrew Bouton established Heart’s Desire Nursery on this excellent site east of the railroad tracks. With a passion for breeding new and improved strains of fruit trees, Bouton devoted himself to plant propagation, becoming a major supplier of young tree stock to orchardists throughout the western United States. His reputation attracted the attention of a young man named Luther Burbank who visited Bouton frequently. Influenced by Bouton, Burbank conducted his own work in nearby Sebastopol and Santa Rosa.

Leo Trentadue has a reputation for openness to new ideas. Over the years, this inveterate tinkerer has been among the first to experiment with what resulted in a number of viticultural/wine industry innovations. An overview of his unheralded achievements: From dry farming to irrigation. Horse drawn plows and dry farming were still practiced when the Trentadues arrived in the Alexander Valley. Leo introduced advanced irrigation practices common to his former home in Santa Clara County.

The Trentadues were among the very first to plant new vines in Sonoma County since the days of Prohibition. Italians love their red wines, especially hearty reds like Carignane. In 1962, the Trentadue family began planting new Carignane vines in addition to the 68 acres of old vines already growing on their ranch. Now more than 35 years old, these vines are among the oldest producing Carignane vineyards in America. The family remains steadfastly devoted to this grape, and their wine ranks indisputably among just a handful of top ranked California Carignane. Case in point: At the 1997 West Coast Wine Competition, Trentadue 1993 Carignane was awarded both a Gold Medal and Best of Class.

Understanding the importance of growing only those grape varieties, which excelled in his vineyards, in 1974 Leo installed half-acre blocks of eight different varietals. The quality of the Sangiovese was extraordinary, so all other vines were replanted to this famed variety from Tuscany. Because Evelyn and Leo share a Tuscan heritage, it is not surprising that in 1984 Trentadue was the first producer to release a 100% varietal wine named for this famed grape of Italy. The superior quality of this wine earned a Gold/Best of Class for the 1993 vintage at the 1995 Sonoma County Harvest Fair.

In 1987, Leo Trentadue encouraged his winemaker to experiment with fortified wines. An excellent Petite Sirah Port resulted, among the very first of its kind. The wine was well received, so a Merlot Port was added to the line. Both wines have consistently earned top awards, including a Gold/Best of Class at the 1997 National Orange Show.

This winery’s story cannot be told without mention of the Trentadues’ remarkable long-term relationship with Paul Draper of Ridge Vineyards. Their personal history began in 1952 when the Trentadues became Paul’s neighbor in Santa Clara, after buying an old abandoned wine estate at the end of Montebello Road. Paul began buying fruit from their ancient vines, striking up a friendship which continues to this day.

Both Draper and the Trentadues know a good thing when they see it. Draper was quick to benefit from the Trentadues’ aptitude for viticulture. The Trentadues have similarly benefited from Draper’s wine business savvy. Indeed, it is Draper who encouraged the family to take advantage of their location and establish an estate winery.

The list of mutual benefits derived from the Trentadue and Ridge association is extensive: Fruit from the Trentadues’ Geyserville estate has been sold to Ridge Vineyards every vintage since 1967. In 1974, Ridge Vineyard acquired the Trentadues’ mountaintop winery and vineyard today known as Montebello. Victor Trentadue manages not only 99 plus acres of his family’s estate-owned fruit contracted to Ridge, but is also entrusted to manage 188 additional acres of Dry Creek Valley grapes under contract nearby to Draper.

Technical Analysis:

Varietals: 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Petite Verdot
8% Malbec, 6% Cabernet Franc, 1% Merlot

Appellation: Alexander Valley Estate, Geyserville Ranch

Production: 1187 cases

Alcohol: 14.7%

Residual Sugar: 0.3%

Total Acid: 0.6g/100ml

pH: 3.67

Aging: 21 months in 65% new French and European Oak

Bottled: July 2008

Release Date: January 2010

Winemaker: Miro Tcholakov

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