Tasting rooms come in all shapes and sizes. Some are small and hold about 10 people. Others double as California castles, standing out in a wine region beckoning to be confused with the Chateaus of France. And some just double as wine storage locations.
I was invited to a tasting party for Trek Wines (www.trekwines.com), a new label / winery that was created in 2007.
The tasting party was held inside of their storage facility in Sonoma, about five minutes off of the 128 (I think that is the main thoroughfare) and probably a ten minute drive from Buena Vista or Larson.
They were pouring three ready-to-be-released wines and five wines that were about 18 months or so from bottling. I’m guessing that the winery was going with a typical 24-month age on their reds, however the owner was bombarded with people asking other questions so I couldn’t find out the approximate time.
If you have not been tasting with me prior, than I should fill you in that I’m not the biggest fan of standard California made Chardonnays. The malolactic acid just doesn’t sit right on my tongue and while I do not prefer them, I still appreciate the style.
With Trek, the Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blancs were reversed. With Trek, the Chardonnay was given the tank, stainless that is, and the Sauvignon Blanc was thrown into the barrel (softly I imagine). And their respected tastes complemented the aging style with the Sauvignon Blanc showing some oak on the finish, but surprisingly little on the nose (he did say it only was in the barrel for 3 months) and the Chardonnay, while containing a bit of honeydew, showed a much more crisper taste. If someone would have poured these blind, I would have guessed the reversed.
The Merlot, the last of the three bottled wines was off, in both color and taste. Murky brick red for the fringe and lacking much in the center, this wine showed little berries and fruit was more of a menthol kick than anything else. Little length on the finish.
The other five wines, straight out of the barrel, were Sangiovese, Cabernet Franc, Zinfandel, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon. All were barreled in 2007, so in essence we were tasting futures at this point in time, which they were selling at 30% off. The three that showed the most promise were the Zinfandel, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon. The sangiovese was average. In a true Italian style, this would work with food beautifully but would have a hard time drinking this solo. The Cabernet Franc wasn’t showing much fruit yet, no cherries on the finish or ripeness in the nose. The Cab Franc did come from the Rhoné style region of Dry Creek, which I think it is why it is picking up earthy qualities early.
The Zinfandel showed a lot of promise. It was as if the pepper taste just cracked out of its shell and while just a baby, would continue to mature in the barrel. This could be one kickin’ Zin, much like Wilson’s of Dry Creek. The Syrah was deep in flavor for being so young. I was thinking black currant on the nose and a little in the taste. Could be a well balanced wine once it is freed from its barrel hibernation. We’ll have to see. And lastly (if you didn’t realize it, I’m going from lightest to darkest) is the Cab. The big boy on the block. And being the big boy, it is strutting its stuff already. Deep dark almost coffee qualities are already starting to show. This boy is going to be pretty strong in my opinion when he is all grown up.
Obviously the majority of Trek Wines are only a year old and need another year and a half to mature. But given the right way they were barrreled, this wines could be breadwinners down the road.
And trek played up their name very well with the Jeep Wrangler, soft-top, parked out side and camping chairs around for places to sit as well as a roof-top storage box turned ice cooler for refreshments. Overall a wonderful tasting experience. I look forward to seeing their wines on the other side of the mountain when they are a bit aged and bottled!