Trinitas Cellars was founded by Tim & Steph Busch in 2000. This husband wife team has had a long standing passion for wine. Tim is one of the owners of the Meritage Resort in Napa, and as a result, this is the perfect public home for tasting Trinitas Cellars (more about this location shortly). Tim & Steph are very spiritual and Tim co-founded the Magis Institute. Trinitas is Latin for Trinity (the Father, Son and Holy Spirit in Christianity) but it also applies to the wine industry. You have the sun, soil and humanity, all key ingredients for making excellent wine.
As of press time, Trinitas makes a fairly large variety of all reasonably priced wines. They source fruit from select vineyards from a variety of locations in Northern California, including Napa. In addition their own vineyards grow above the cave at the resort which extends all the way to the main highway. They have a variety of Bordeaux red varietals planted on site as well as a bit of Chardonnay which is the varietal that grows in the extremely rocky soil directly above the cave entrance. In fact there is a “wine walk” you can take. From the entrance to the cave proceed up the steps to the left and take the short trail that leads among the vineyards. Pause for reflection at the Madonna statue near the chairs.
The actual tasting room is located at the Meritage Resort which is located south of Napa near where Highway 12 meets Highway 121. This is one of the very few tasting rooms located at a resort within the Napa Valley area. This is actually a great idea as many people who stay here are coming to Napa for wine tasting and why not have a tasting facility on site! For reference the cave and tasting bar is located on the south part of the property – drive through the front entrance and park towards the back of the property and then walk to the actual cave (located across the street from the gated swimming pool). This cave system sits 40 feet underneath the famous Napa Wine Press statue which you can see from Highway 12. It is a fairly large cave at 20,000 square feet.
Besides the cave tasting bar, there is also a fancy underground spa with underground pools, treatment rooms and little cave “relaxation” grottos. We’ve been in many wine caves in Napa, but this is the first spa cave we’ve visited. For resort style amenities it doesn’t get much better than this. Take a dip in the pool, head over for a massage or spa treatment and then right across from the spa you have the wine tasting cave. Also note the elegantly decorated wine cave next to the tasting room; this is often used for special events. As of press time, the tasting bar offers 16 different wines to choose from. The tasting flight allows you to pick any 4 wines from the list which includes several whites, a large number of reds and also a late harvest dessert wine.
Considering this is the “Napa Wine Project”, during our latest tasting we carefully selected mostly Napa wines to review from the list. However we were hearing good things about several of their other wines from other tourists tasting next to us. The 2007 Sauvignon Blanc is crisp with aromas of green apple, grapefruit and honeysuckle. The finish is very clean. The 2005 Pinot noir from the nearby Carneros appellation is like drinking candy! It is a delicious rich Pinot with very fruity aromas and a wonderful mouth feel. The mouth feel is silky and smooth with cola, cherry, nuances of cedar and spices on the palate.
The 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the smoother Cabernet Sauvignons you will try (sourced from Oakville) with almost a violet and floral character to the nose with some of these floral qualities carried onto the palate. It has a nice long smooth finish. The Revelation is their Late Harvest Cuvee which is a blend of 4 red varietals all from old dry farmed vineyards. The 2005 version opens with an explosion of perfume and candied fruit type aromas on the bouquet. Rich fruit is represented on the palate – not overly sweet but fairly well balanced. You do not need to stay at the resort to visit the spa or cave tasting room. Visit: www.trinitascellars.com
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