Before winemaker Matt Cline parted ways with Trinitas, he applied his Zinfandel magic to some absolutely stellar releases in both 2004 and 2005. Cline had spent a career searching out ancient vine Zinfandel, Mataro and Petite Sirah parcels, making wines that catapulted him (along with Joel Peterson at Ravenswood and Paul Draper at Ridge) into the highest echelon of Zin-masters. The 2005 Trinitas Old Vine Zinfandel comes from 100 year old vines, planted in the sandy soil of Contra Costa County east of the San Francisco Bay.
In the latter part of the 19th century, Europe's vineyards were overwhelmed by a pest called Phylloxera, only to be saved by a Phylloxera-resistant American graft. Then, in the 1960s, American vintners started planting a highly productive rootstock called AxR1 (trying to reduce cost so as to convert beer drinkers into wine drinkers!) despite warnings from the French as to the rootstock's susceptibility to Phylloxera. By the beginning of the 1980s, Napa and Sonoma's vineyards were ravaged just as the European vineyards had been a century before.
But, Phyllloxera likes heavy soil, and doesn't take well to the light sand of Contra Costa, east of the San Francisco Bay. As a result, a handful of vineyards, all planted by Italian immigrants before the turn of the 19th century, survived. These gnarly, head-trained plants continue to produce tiny quantities of some of the most concentrated, nuanced fruit -- only 1.5 tons per acre -- in all of California.
"Deep purple color. Hints of dark red fruit and white pepper on the nose. Ripe, sweet fruit coats the palate. Well-balanced with good concentration and fresh acidity. The finish is long with the perfect hint of spice. Drink now for its primary fruit or hold for up to three years."
Pair this bold, concentrated wine with ribs, burgers, steaks, or any grilled meats.