Trentadue Winery, Sonoma County

by Stevie on July 1, 2009

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weirdcombos tasting crew in our drinking glasses

weirdcombos tasting crew in our drinking glasses

We went to Trentadue the other day with my sister, Deby, visiting from San Diego. We think that the name means “32” in Italian. I didn’t know this place but my friend, Carey, had been before and loved it. It’s about an hour and a half drive north of San Francisco on 101 in Geyserville just past Healdsburg. The winery is in Alexander Valley. The wierdcombos tasting crew really likes wines from this area. Alexander Valley is just adjacent to Dry Creek Valley, another popular weirdcombos stomping ground. We’ll be back to David Coffaro later this year.

winemaker Miro leading the behind-the-scenes tour of Trentadue

winemaker Miro leading the behind-the-scenes tour of Trentadue

This is a family winery though it seems to have grown. We had the good fortune to go on a quiet morning. This gave us the opportunity to meet the wine maker, Miro Tcholakov, and take a behind-the-scenes tour of the bottling process that was happening then. Perhaps we had such good fortune because we had four women in our group, some of whom flirted shamelessly with Miro? At any rate, it was pretty cool. Miro happens to be Bulgarian. He seems very passionate about the wines. The tasting room pourer told us that he is primarily responsible for the more exclusive, La Storia, wines. He had some interesting ideas about corks versus screw caps. He said that screw tops are better because you get fewer impurities in your wine. He suggested that wineries stick with cork because of tradition but also implied that less quality producers don’t like screw tops because they magnify the wine’s flaws more than cork. Hmmm.

The winery itself is quite near the freeway exit so is easy to find. The grounds are expansive and very lovely. The building is in a kind of Italian style that I liked, surrounded by charming flower gardens, manicured lawns and water fountains. The tasting room was cool, with high ceilings. They produce a large array of wines including one sparkling, some Italian and Rhone style wines and several ports as well as more traditional Bordeaux style wines and Zinfandel. They offer a basic tasting of up to four for free. For ports and the La Storia reserve wines, they charge $5 for the tastings. Trentadue offers discounts for volume purchases; they will ship and they also have a wine club. They sell other stuff, too, including these wild sunglasses that we all tried on for a group pic towards the end when we were a bit tipsy.

charming fountain outside Trentadue tasting room

charming fountain outside Trentadue tasting room

2005 Old Patch Red: This is a blend of Zinfandel, Petit Sirah, Carignane and Syrah. My group really liked this wine. Carey’s brother bought a case of it the last time they were there. It was a brownish red color with a long pleasing tannic finish. At only $14 a bottle, it’s a steal!

2006 Sangiovese: This was pale red with the aroma of fresh earth. It had a fruity cherry taste with some enjoyable bitter notes on a medium body.

2006 Mouvredre: This wine had a “jammy nose” just like the Trentadue tasting notes said, with a cherry flavor. It was just O.K.

Trentadue merlot was really good!

Trentadue merlot was really good!

2005 Zinfandel: This is a blend of Dry Creek and Alexander Valley grapes. To me it tasted more of Dry Creek. It was medium red colored with a cherry flavor and a long finish. I liked this one.

2006 Merlot: Miro recommended that I try a glass of this on the way to look at the bottling. “Try this one, you’ll like it.” He was right! It was my favorite so far. This was a very dark color with stone fruit, esp. plums, and a long finish.

I liked these wines a lot so decided to move onto the reserve tasting:

2005 La Storia Cuvee 32: This estate wine they call a “Super Tuscan” because it’s a blend of sanigovese, merlot, cabernet sauvignon and montepulciano. The wine had a medium to dark red color with a light hard-to-place aroma, though I’m bad at detecting smells. It had a bitter earthy taste that led to a fruity cherry finish that lasted.

2005 La Storia Zinfandel: This estate wine is a blend of 78% Zinfandel, petit sirah and carignane. It’s a dark purple color with mocha latte and vanilla notes, good structure and a peppery finish. It shouts out Alexander Valley! I liked this wine so much that I ended up buying a case. Normally they sell it for $28 per bottle but now the winery offers a 40% discount on cases of La Storia. With the discount I ended up paying around $16.80 per bottle, still in my under $20 limit, though a bit over my total wine budget this week.

Trentadue La Storia reserve wines were all excellent

Trentadue La Storia reserve wines were all excellent

2004 La Storia Meritage: This estate wine is merlot, cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, malbec and petite verdot. It is dark purple; “very deep” color. It has medium body compared to the Zinfandel with cherry flavors and a finish that drops off sooner than I’d have expected. Wendy says, “It’s good.”

2004 La Storia Petite Sirah: This wine was the darkest purple of all, perhaps almost black. It was “beautiful!” It had a long finish, felt thick on the tongue with stone fruit and chocolate taste.

I tasted one port that my sister, Deby, tried:

Chocolate Amore: This is really a blend of dark chocolate with a merlot based port. It smells like chocolate and tastes like it too. Really the taste was sort of chocolate-covered-cherry. Too much for me but I can see that it would be really good as a dessert alternative.

Overall this was a great experience. The wines were consistently good, some excellent and they had a real sense of place. The winery staff was pleasant and the location spectacular. Carey bought a mixed case of their standard wines. She also joined their club. As already noted, I bought a case of the La Storia Zin. We’d definitely go back.

After this great experience, we pushed our luck further at Pedroncelli and Yoakim Bridge wineries.

inviting manicured lawns at Trentadue Winery

inviting manicured lawns at Trentadue Winery

view across Alexander Valley from Trentadue

view across Alexander Valley from Trentadue

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Jasmine Turner July 2, 2009 at 10:54 am

(2005 Old Patch Red: This is a blend of Zinfandel, Petit Sirah, Carignane and Syrah. My group really liked this wine. Carey’s brother bought a case of it the last time they were there. It was a brownish red color with a long pleasing tannic finish. At only $14 a bottle, it’s a steal!_)

I believe this is the same one I saw at Cost Plus yesterday for only eleven dollars! If you really like it you could head down there and get some more. I almost bought some cause the name Trentadue rang a bell, but I don’t know how good it was! I guess it was good according to Carey’s brother!

Deby Wozniak July 13, 2009 at 1:25 am

Have to admit..that was the best winery that we went to. Steve didn’t mention that we got lucky and got a chance to see the bottling process; which by the way was being produced for a special order. Miro’s wine is so good that restaurants, etc. ask for personal variety’s just for themselves. Besides being very knowledgeable, he was very kind. I can see why Carey became a club member (Even though, we do need to talk about the ticket we got at the toll on the Golden Gate Bridge. Kind of exciting for me)! Hey, just one more reason to take a trip up North!

The other wineries sucked. I have nothing good to say about any of them.

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