25 February 2013

Trione Wines

Let's say that you buy a bottle of 2011 John Smith Merlot from California, and the label includes the winery address. Most people think that John Smith planted the vines, picked the grapes, squeezed them, and fermented them in a building, all in the same place. And the wine is 100% Merlot from John Smith's farm right next to the winery.

The reality is that lots of people grow grapes, lots of people make wine, most of the wine you'll ever drink in your life is some sort of blend of vineyards and grapes, and that some of the esteemed grapes that went into your $40 bottle were also used to make a $15 bottle under a different name. And none of these are bad things. It's agriculture, which is the heart of the wine business.

The Sonoma County Trione family has been growing premium grapes for other wineries for the past thirty years but recently started making their own. They sent me a set of well-aged samples in the TastingRoom.com 50mL format.

While all of these are 14% alcohol or higher, they are neither hot nor unbalanced, and most can be purchased via the company website. The wines without prices are either sold out or unavailable, though I will update this post if I get additional information. UPDATE: I've added the prices, and from Wine Educator Lori Fredrickson, I was told the following: "Yes, we are sold out of our 2008 Pinot, 2007 Red Wine and 2007 Cab. We recently started distributing our wines in restaurants so those vintages went fast! We are currently selling the 2009 Pinot, 2008 Red Wine and 2008 Cabernet."

2010 Trione Sauvignon Blanc
Russian River Valley
$23, 14% abv.
Grass and gooseberry. Medium acidity and a big full body.

2008 Trione Chardonnay
Russian River Valley
$30, 14.3% abv.
Rich golden color and nice aroma of toasted hazelnuts. Creamy, oaky body with a classic California Chardonnay profile. Gentle acidity and a melting finish.

2008 Trione Pinot Noir
Russian River Valley
$35, 14.2% abv.
Well aged and mellow with a pleasant garnet color. Light aromas of wild strawberries and pencil shavings with a light and mellow body. Perfectly aged at this point, I would say drink it now. It's so nice to get to taste something at an ideal age.

2008 Trione Syrah
Russian River Valley
$32, 14.8% abv.
Nice aroma of black plums and cured pork. Elements of black pepper. The tannins are mild but the acidity is firm, and lends to a slightly sour black cherry flavor. Great bracing Syrah that needs a thick pork chop topped with figs.

2007 Trione Cabernet Sauvignon
Alexander Valley
$64, 14.5% abv.
Rich cassis and leather with a little coffee underneath. Deep, dark fruit flavors with a round body and a pleasant finish. The tannins are quite mild after all these years yet still slightly present.

2007 Trione Red Wine
Alexander Valley
57% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, 4% Petit Verdot, 4% Malbec
$48, 14.5% abv.
Nice green tobacco leaf and green bell pepper with some delightful cherry underneath. Very herbal and Bordeaux-style. Tiny bite on the finish indicates that this one could still spend a few years in the cellar and emerge delicious.

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