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Wednesday, July 8, 2009

LUNCHEON TASTING: Treana Red and White, Toronto, June 4, 2009

The Time and Date: Thursday, June 4, 2009

The Event: a tasting of 10 vintages of Treana Red Paso Robles, from Hope Family Wines, led by Austin Hope, proprietor and winemaker.

The Venue: National Club

The Target Audience: wine media, sommeliers, clients.

The Availability/Catalogue: only Treana Red 2003 is currently available, although Liberty School labels are in Vintages.

The Quote/Background: The blend has varied over the years, beginning with sangiovese and petit syrah in its first vintage of 1996. Cabernet sauvignon and merlot and some syrah have been the anchors, but the Hope Family has also played around with mourvedre. With the Treana Red 2000, the blend became a consistent cabernet sauvignon, merlot, and syrah, with 14 months in all French oak (40% new). Then, in 2004, it became just cabernet sauvignon 70% and syrah 30%. This ratio moved forward into the 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2008 vintages, with now 65% new French oak. The 2002 wine was declassified because it was not up to their standards.

The Wines: we tasted 10 Treana Red vintages, with the Liberty School wines at lunch. We also had the current vintage of Treana White, a blend of viognier 53% and Marsanne 47% grapes. It showed mounds of fruit and Rhonish character (Consignment Bridge and then Vintages, +11247, $33.95). The 1996 Treana Red was their first vintage; no wine was bottled as Treana Red in 2002.


**** Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):

-Treana Red 1996 (with petit syrah and sangiovese added), not available

-Treana Red 1997, same blend

-Treana Red 2004 (70% cab, 30% syrah, +11221 Consignment Bridge and then Vintages, $44.95)

-Treana Red 2005


***1/2 Three and a Half Stars (8890 in Quality/Price Rating terms):

-Treana Red 1998 (with added mourvedre but no sangiovese)

-Treana Red 2001 (cab, merlot, syrah)

-Treana Red 2003 (cab, syrah, merlot: $48.95 Vintages +11221)

-Treana Red 2006


*** Three Stars (8587 in Quality/Price Rating terms):

-Treana Red 1999 (with added mourvedre), a bit leafy.

-Treana Red 2000 (cab, merlot and syrah)


The Food: at lunch, we had tiger shrimps with Liberty School Chardonnay 2007, +960120, $16.95 at Vintages August 15, 2009, a decidedly unabashed California chard with 50% French oak. Gnocchi with a mushroom ragout was accompanied by Liberty School Cabernet Sauvignon 2006, +738823 Vintages Essential at $18.95, very robust with the potato component of the dish. Braised short ribs had a delightful Liberty School Syrah, +942383 $17.95 Vintages, with added viognier. Best wine at the meal.

The Downside: there were some vacant seats at this major tasting, which I found distressing…where were these people?

The Upside: it is very rare in Toronto to have a vertical tasting of a California wine, and I was glad to have participated.

The Contact Person:

The Marketing Effectiveness (numerical grade): 92.



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