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Thursday, December 1, 2011

Wine Banter - December 2011

Trecini is a small family-owned winery producing award winning wines in the heart of Sonoma County. John Vicini grew up in Tuscany immersed in its wine-making traditions and, at age 29 he carried that knowledge with him to the United States. It took many years of running one of the finest Italian restaurants in Santa Rosa before John was able to realize his dream and start his own vineyard and begin making wine.

John now runs the winery with his wife Cathy and son, David. Trecini Winery utilizes “sustainable wine growing practices” in order to ensure long-term viability of the land, improved wine quality and conservation of natural resources.  Trecini’s wines consistently win awards year to year and just about all wines released are of a very high quality.  From the current releases, my three top picks are all from their red wine selections:

Trecini 2009 Pinot Noir, Vicini Vineyards, Sonoma County (ret $30-$35) Multiple Awards including: Best of Class, Double Gold, Eastern Wine Competition. A dark fruit characteristic and very smooth, very approachable with a finish that is unlike any other pinot noir I’ve ever tasted – cola.  This pinot noir can be enjoyed now or aged for four years and, unlike many pinot noirs, would be a great pairing for grilled beef loin, rare.

Trecini 2007 Merlot, Russian River Valley (ret $25-$28) Multiple Awards including: Gold at the San Francisco Wine Competition, Best of Class Gold Long Beach Grand Cru, Best of Varietal Eastern Wine Competition. This rich velvety merlot with its soft tannins is an enjoyable sipping wine and will also pair well with grilled ham, and chicken. It’s ready to enjoy now needing no decanting.

Trecini 2007 Rockpile Zinfandel, Rocky Ridge Vineyard (ret $32-$50) Multiple Awards including: Best of Class Gold Los Angeles International Wine Competition, Double Gold American Fine Wine Competition.

Rockpile is an appellation within an appellation (within Dry Creek, Sonoma County). Jack Florence came to Dry Creek to grow oranges but soon found its climate and soil was perfect for growing zinfandel.  Jack Florence was the force behind having Rockpile recognized as an AVA (American Viticultural Area). His application had originally been over-looked, being presumed to be a practical joke requesting a new wine growing region be named “Rockpile”.

Fortunately upon review, with the full evidence of its distinctive soils and climate in place, Rockpile was formally recognized as an AVA in 2002 and produces some of the finest Zinfandel in the United States today. Jack Florence planted his Zinfandel vineyards in the southeastern end of Rockpile using Zinfandel from a vineyard planted in the 1870’s in Cloverdale owned by the St.Peter’s Church, one of the oldest surviving vineyards in California and now the source of most of Rockpile’s Zinfandel today.

The Trecini 2007 Rockpile Zinfandel is one of the finer zinfandels from Rockpile, smooth and rich, with dark fruit characteristics, hints of spice and toast from the barrel. The 2007 is ready to drink - a great pairing for prime rib and other hearty holiday fair.

Trecini does offer tastings to the public by appointment only, from 11am to 3pm, Monday to Friday – call 707-525-9400 to make an appointment. Trecini Winery is located at 441 Beaver Street Santa Rosa, Ca, 95404.  Visit their website at:
‘Tis the Season
With Christmas and New Year’s  upon us, it’s time for some holiday sparkling wines to share good times with the ones you love:

Lucien Albrecht Sparkling Blanc de Blancs Cremant, France (ret $24)Crisp, dry with flavors of green apple, an exquisite sparkling wine.

Grandial Blanc de Blancs Cremant, France (ret $9) A dry sparkling perfect with a little “crème de cassis” for a “kir royale” or to enjoy as a dry brut, and a great price.

Collet Brut Champagne Split (375ml), France (ret $30) For a more “yeasty” dry champagne, Collet (available as a split).
Gocce di Luna Moondrops Prosecco, Italy (ret $16) A light sweetness on the front of the palate, round fruit flavors, this prosecco finishes dry.

Wishing you a very safe and happy holiday season!

John Haggard is owner of Sophie’s Cellars in Monte Rio, California.