2006 Russian River Merlot
California: Russian River Valley (Sonoma)
What we say
If you are here looking for the brand new and exclusive inaugural release of the 2006 Hans Fahden Napa Valley Merlot – be sure to visit us after midnight PST. We have a limited allocation and it will be on sale all day Wednesday until sold out.
If you are visiting us for the first time, Welcome! The Wine Spies feature one exceptional wine each day – and we only bring you wines that we ourselves seek out and love. Always, the wines are great. Sometimes greater than great, as is the case with today’s wine from Trechini Cellars.
SAVINGS ALERT! Smart spies stock up on great wines. When they buy 6 or more bottles of today’s delicious newly released Merlot, they will be rewarded with Free Ground Shipping, but only if they enter secret savings code SUPERSONOMA at checkout.
Mission Codename: GO, GO Merlot!
Operative: Agent Red
Objective: Sleuth out an exceptional Sonoma County Merlot for our thirsty Operatives
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Trechini Cellars
Wine Subject: 2006 Merlot
Winemaker: Dan Barwick
Backgrounder: Any true fan or red wine knows that, worldwide, Merlot is a serious and well-respected wine varietal. It is the most widely grown grape in the Bordeaux region of France and, in America, Merlot soared to popularity in the 1990s. And for good reason; Merlot, when done correctly, can be incredible. Such is the case with today’s serious offering from Trecini Cellars. Read Agent Red’s tasting notes and mission report immediately following to learn more about this wine – and why Merlot still rocks!
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Inky garnet to ruby with a dark heart of deep garnet, this wine has a bouncy surface with concentrated color out to its edges. When swirled the wine shows thick and thin legs that run down the glass at different speeds
Smell – Really lavish aromas! Lush and deeply layered with earthy rich smells of plum, dark cherry, cedar, dusky blackberry, mild dried herbs and soft-smoked meats
Feel – Cool and light up front, deliciously slick (not oily) with an initial wetness that is fast replaced by medium tannins and an all-over-mouth coating effect that I love
Taste – A delicious unveiling of great flavors, with dark ripe stonefruit, dark cherry, dark mixed berries, mild cigar box and fresh & mild mixed salad herbs
Finish – Cool and fresh, then slightly drying and airy with big flavors that taper off very gradually
Conclusion – It is no wonder that Trecini keeps winning so many gold medals; This wine is superb, conveying a real sense of place, of passion and of personality. This is a wine that connects you to the winemaker, the vineyards and the fruit. Its also no wonder that we Wine Spies keep returning to Trecini Cellars; We are diehard fans and they make wines that impress us over and over again. If you love Merlot, you will LOVE this one. If you don’t care for Merlot, you MUST try this one, for it will please you with its delicious flavors, great aromas, bright acidity and great feel.
It was a cold and rainy day in Sonoma County. Just the sort of day I have come to expect in mid-January in this mostly-beautiful and usually delightful California wine growing region… but with a difference; The rain was relentless and the downpour particularly strong.
I had set a secret rendezvous with winery owner, Cathy Vicini, but was beginning to wonder whether I would make it to her or not. Roads were feet-deep with water in places, traffic seemed unmoving and I felt as though I would have done better in a rowboat than my Spy car.
The last time we featured a Trecini wine, I was not the agent on the case. Therefor, I had not had the pleasure to meet with anyone from the winery until today. Although, with this weather, I was beginning to wonder if I would even have the chance.
The spot where we had set for out meeting was nearby the winery’s HQ, but somewhat more interesting; we planned to meet in the center of a private sculpture garden where a few dozen sculptures were spread out over nearly a 1/2 mile stretch. I looked forward to seeing them, if I could just make it there.
By some great miracle, or perhaps just good luck, the weather cleared, the sun shone through the parting clouds and traffic began to move again. I made it with a few minutes to spare and thanked the wine gods as I climbed the hills toward the sculpture garden.
The sculptures here ranged in size from tiny to massive and were either stunning in their beauty – or downright bizarre. If you guessed that my tastes leaned toward the more bizarre ones, you may be right. My favorite was a 15-foot long creation that looked to be made of gnarled wood and welded metal that looked like a robotic, steam-propelled, flying baby whale, called “SirBent”, by Bryan Tendrick.
After a period of standing in awe before this creation, Cathy rolled up in her SUV, a quizzical look on her face. We exchanged prearranged authentication phrases and we both smiled warmly. Cathy had a case of wine for our careful assessment and, in true prohibition-era style, I transfered it from the back of her truck, to the trunk of my car.
Because Cathy had another meeting to make, we spoke for just a few minutes, then thanked each other, and were on our way again quickly.
That’s when the rain started up again. I made for our Sonoma safehouse and arrived there before the worst of the weather hit. Just.
Once safely inside, I built a fire in the fireplace, decanted a bottle of Trecini wine and made myself a modest meal of comfort food. On sipping the wine I was struck by its character and the feeling that the wine imbued. Where some wines are obvious party wines and still others are great elegant dining wines, I realized that this wine – with its rich but still soft feel, flavors and aromas – was the perfect comfort wine.
The rest of my evening was spent listening to the rain and reflecting on how some wines impart a visceral feeling, a sense of place, and a sense of the winemaker, when you drink them. Maybe it was being safe from the rain, maybe it was the great wine, but this Trecini wine delivered all of these, and a tangible impression that all is right with the World.
The location of our secret meeting, the sculpture gardens, and surrounding vineyards can be seen in this satellite photo.
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The location of the Vicini Vinyard can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the winery says
Awards & Accolades:
2008 Gold Medal Pacific Rim Competition
About This Wine:
Finally the 2006 Merlot is ready for release. It is absolutely wonderful. Black cherries, plums, dried cherries, charcoal,toast, dried herbs, minerals, and dark berries. Already a gold medal winner for any lover of Merlot.
About Our Winery:
From the historical town of Jera, in Tuscany, Italy, John Vicini brought with him the passion and love of wine that were handed from one generation to another for over 150 years. Now living and working with Cathy, his wife, and David, their son, they bring to you exceptional wines from the gently rolling vineyard covered hills of Sonoma County, the Russian River, and the Dry Creek Valley. Starting in 1994, John and Cathy grew and sold their own premium Russian River grapes. In 1999 they expanded their family’s business to developing and introducing their own label Trecini, representing the three Vicinis (John, Cathy, and David). With the help of David, Trecini has grown from a premium grape grower to a premium wine company offering five award winning varietals, Sauvignon Blanc, Syrah, Merlot, Merlot Rosé, and a Zinfandel.
Meet our Winemaker
In 1981, Dan Barwick, a native of England, took his first wine job in the wine department of Harrods in London. “That’s where a wine germ settled and stayed in my head until I was ready to discover more,” says Barwick. After a short stint in wholesale wine sales, Barwick hopscotched around the wine world for nine years, first a Matanzas Creek Winery in Sonoma’s Bennett Valley, then Ferrai-Carano, over a Burgundy and then Stellenbosch and the Barossa Valley, before coming back to Sonoma County and Martin Ray Winery, and finally Paadise Ridge where he started working with Trecini Cellars. SInce 1999, Dan has made seven consecutive vintages of Trecini Cellars and looks forward to introducing new, creative, and extremely favorful wines.
John Vicini, Proprietor, Wine Making
John’s fondest memory is at age 6, walking with his grandfather through the plush fields of vines in Tuscany, Italy, as he listened to the story about how the grapes were grown and how to take care of them. He grew up watching the village men make wine and listened to the stories on Sunday in the plaza about who could make wine better than the other. Everyone had their own secret method. John learned early on that the method used was the secret to making a wine distinctive from the other wines. He brought this secret with him to the United Sates when he came here at age 29. After 27 years as a proprietor of one of the finest Italian restaurants in Santa Rosa, California, John retired and was finally able to start his own vineyard, and begin his dream to make his own wine with his wife Cathleen, and their son David.
Cathy Vicini, _Proprietor, Finances_
Cathy is the glue. Not only does she help couples and families out while working as a Family and Child Therapist, Cathy helps keep John and David in-line. When not helping families, she is helping her own family by managing the office, maintaining customer satisfaction, as well as ordering and shipping the wine. Just for fun, and to get out of the office, she loves to pour at various wine events to meet everyone. You can always recognize Cathy by her Trecini grape appliquéd shirt.
David Vicini, Proprietor, Business and Socializing
David is our all around guy. Pretty much anything we think of or have to do, he does. Good times. All in all, he’s just happy to be here. From web design, tastings, shows, managing sales, etc.. etc… he is involved with it all. If you see him don’t be afraid and say hello, its his job to be nice to everyone and engage in all forms of communication. He may even offer you a glass of one of the award winning wines from Trecini Cellars.
Appellation: Russian River Valley
Release Date: April 14, 2008
Vintage Notes: Black cherries, plums, dried cherries,charcoal,toast, dried herbs, minerals, and dark berries.