The Tasting Panel magazine

January / February 2017

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Page 91 of 148

january/february 2017  /  the tasting panel  /  91 set up to be a red region, growing primar- ily Cab, Merlot, Syrah and some Zin. Using these, we wanted to make the best wine possible in the world. We initially had multiple varieties in the blend, and over time we pared it down to Syrah and Cab. The '96 was our first vintage, and it truly was one of the first non-traditional blends ever made in California in the $30 to $40 range. Now today, everybody seems to make one, and they cost $200 out of Napa Valley. I like to think we were one of the first out there to create that momen- tum of blending non-traditional varieties." Given the success of the Treana Red Blend, why then a varietal Cab? Says Hope, "To me, Cabernet Sauvignon truly represents the beginning of Hope Family Wines. We were growers initially, but my uncle and father would encourage me to make wine. Later, I started working for Chuck [Wagner], and he became one of my mentors. Those three men are the first part of my journey, and at the time we were all working with Cabernet. I also think for years—my entire lifetime really—we were really learning about the region and differences in sub-regions. In fact, Justin Smith of Saxum and I spearheaded the long road to divide Paso into the 11 sub-regions we have today. The sub-AVAs that I've found the most compelling for growing Cab are the Creston District, the Estrella District and the Geneseo District, and these are where the majority of our Cab is being grown. They're all three warmer Class III and Class IV regions on the eastern side of Paso. When you cross that Salinas River, on the eastern side, there are much older soils, compared to the younger western soils. If you look at the soil type of these sub-AVAs, they are very similar to the Calistoga AVA in Napa. So, it's not only an homage to the three men who encouraged me to go down this path and believed in me, but really going back to my family's roots and understanding that we can make world-class Cabernets." After tasting Treana's 2014 Cabernet, considering the new wave rock-and-roll beginnings and 20-year evolution of the Hope Family Wines in 2016, a year in which Beyoncé (deservedly) reigned supreme, I think this varietal Cab might be "Just What I Needed." Tasting Treana's Varietals Treana 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon, Paso Robles ($30) Exuberant ripe black- berry and an intensity of blue fruit that slowly widens onto the palate revealing dark chocolate, dark-roasted coffee, cinnamon and a smattering of pencil shav- ings in a lengthened finish. Refined tannin lingers. This is 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot, 5% Syrah blend sees 70% used French oak and 30% new American. Extended macerations and minimal racking applied to a low-yielding, high-quality 2014 vintage. Treana 2014 Chardonnay, Central Coast ($24) This incredible, rich, whole clus- ter–pressed Chardonnay offers fresh stone fruits, ripe pineapple and vanilla custard pie with graham cracker crust, in a creamy, full-bodied package. Fermented in 60% stainless steel and 40% barrel then left sur lie for 11 months with minimal bâtonnage. Blend aged in French oak for additional eight months.

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