Monday, September 26, 2011


Treana White

The Hope family has a 30-year track record growing grapes and making wine in Paso Robles, California, in the big Central Coast region.  They go a little farther north, though, for the grapes which make up theirTreana White.

The Rhone varieties which make up Treana White - 55% Marsanne and 45% Viognier - come from Monterey County.  The Mer Soleil Vineyard is in the northern end of the Santa Lucia Highlands, close to Monterey Bay and the cool growing conditions which provide a great place for them to reach their peak.

Since it's a winery in a warmer, more southern area reaching northward for grapes, it's fitting that the blend pairs grapes that figure prominently in the northern Rhone Valley - Viognier - and the southern Rhone - Marsanne.

The grapes are whole-cluster pressed and fermented in French oak, except for a small portion that is fermented in a stainless steel tank.  The alcohol level is 14.5%.

Proprietor Charles L. Hope and winemaker Austin Hope are identified on the label by name and signature.  They can be proud to have their names displayed there.

The color is beautifully golden, with hints of copper showing at times.  After admiring the hue for some time, I put my nose in the glass and was struck by the incredibly aromatic nose of the wine.  The tropical fruit aroma tries to fight its way past the honey-laden dried apricot.  The honey aspect is almost mead-like in its intensity. 

The wine looks quite viscous in the glass, clinging to the side on the swirl while slowly receding after.  It feels viscous in my mouth, too.  An oily texture gives way to a shimmering acidity.  The flavors are complex, with first that dried apricot, then dried pineapple, then a slightly savory flavor fades into an acidity which intensifies on the finish.

I’ve had this wine a few times at tasting events - and was duly impressed.  Having an entire glass really underscores how much is missed by simply having a small taste.  The wine provides a new sensation with each sip.

It’s a big wine - big aromas, big flavors and big use of oak.  If you like a noticeable effect of wood in your wine, this won’t disappoint.  My palate tends to extremes.  When I want less oak, I want unoaked.  When I want oak, I want a tree.  This wine doesn’t fall too far from the tree.

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