Some of you may remember the dinner I had with my fellow blogger and wine friend John, The Wine Raconteur, earlier this year. John, being the wonderfully generous man that he is brought us a bottle of wine as a gift, which caught us off guard because we clearly did not anticipate this, and had nothing to reciprocate. Well, we promised to make up for it and we will. The wine John gave us was the 2007 Treana Red, a wine from Paso Robles on California’s central coast.
I am not very familiar with California wines: I find most to be overpriced and the chief reliance on Cabernet Sauvignon, a grape variety I am not overly fond of, doesn’t help. I explained earlier that a good friend of ours has made me drink more California reds and I have found ways and makers that I enjoy, but I am still a complete ignoramus when it comes to these wines. I might have heard Paso Robles before, but I would not be able to locate it on a map at all. So, I am afraid a drew a blank when John gave me the wine and looked at me expectantly…I still feel guilty for that.
In an order to redeem myself, I did some research: Treana is part of the family owned Hope Family Wines company which maintains five different brands, of which Treana is one. The family arrived in the late 1970s and planted apple trees and vines. They planted the classic varieties Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, Mourvèdre and Grenache. In 1996, they produced their first Treana white and red. The current owner and winemaker, Austin Hope, is the son of the founders who was eight when the family moved to Paso Robles.
Treana Red is what the winery deems its flagship wine (I was SHOCKED to see the retail price! John, thank you so much!!). The wine is made with 70% Cabernet Sauvignon and 30% Syrah. It is sourced from their up to eight different best vineyards in Paso Robles. It is fermented with cultivated yeasts and matures for ten to 14 months in French oak (50% new oak). The grapes ripen separately, and in the summer the best barrels are combined in barrels. Before filling, the wine is moved to a tank. The winery describes it as somewhere between a Napa and a Bordeaux wine (now if I only knew what that could possibly mean). According to the label, the 2007 had 15.5% ABV.
The wine poured in an inviting ruby red. The nose was full of cassis, as in full of it. Gorgeous. Add in some perfumy and herbal notes (branches). It was deep and inviting. On the palate, the medium-bodied Treana initially hit us with a quite strong acidity that made it feel unbalanced. There were peppery notes, the perfume continued. But we couldn’t get over how acidic it was. The texture however was great, a really nice silky mouth feel. The finish was of medium length with some bitterness.
We waited a bit, and lo and behold, some beautiful crushed coffee bean aromas started showing up in the finish. I loved that. After an hour, the wine was more herbal and felt much more concentrated than we initially thought, but the acidity persisted. Only after two hours was the acidity finally balanced and gave the wine a good structure.
Nina really liked the wine, and I thought it was pretty good, too. We have different tastes in red wine, and she likes the bigger reds more than me, so that makes sense. Thank you, John and your lovely bride, for providing a great evening for us!