Sunday, May 1, 2016

Review: Trione 2011 Block Twenty One Cabernet Sauvignon Alexander Valley, CA ($67)

The ultra-cool 2001 vintage in Northern California will always be known as the vintage that produced some of the most Bordeaux-like wines that Napa and Sonoma have ever produced. What does that mean? It means that the Cabernets and Merlots were remarkably elegant, not too heavy, and didn't have so much of the sunny fruit sweetness that is completely normal for North Coast Cabernet and Merlot. This small production wine from Trione is one of the best examples I have tasted in the last couple of years, and I adore it. I believe that if you threw this wine into a tasting of first growth Bordeaux wines from a really good vintage it would fare very well. At $67 a bottle, it isn't cheap, and only 707 six-pack cases were produced, so it isn't exactly comparable to a first growth Bordeaux wine, most of which are produced in batches tens of thousands of cases and also which command hundreds or thousands of dollars per bottle. But it's brilliant on its own merits. It has wonderfully focused red and black currant fruit, notes of clove, conifer, menthol, raspberry and incense. It's mid-to-full-bodied and has a long, seamless finish. It's perfectly balanced now, but I think this wine has a long life ahead of it. Even twenty years from now, this wine will probably be gorgeous as it is now. (96 points)

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