For more than 30 years the Trione Family has been growing and selling grapes in Sonoma County from their own property, as well as vineyards they manage. Almost a decade ago they launched Trione Vineyards & Winery to bottle their own wines. Scot Covington, their founding winemaker, brought winemaking experience in Sonoma County and elsewhere to the table as well as winery building and design knowledge. Over the last few years, I’ve been impressed with the quality and value their releases represent. They make Estate wines that represent two distinct appellations within Sonoma County: Russian River Valley and Alexander Valley. Here’s a look at the most recent releases from their 115-acre property located in the heart of the Russian River Valley. All three wines are 100 percent varietal.
Trione Vineyards & Winery 2012 Chardonnay – Suggested retail price is $32. When making this wine, Scot used old world Burgundian methodology. Whole clusters were pressed and then racked into French oak; 40 percent of the barrels used were new and the balance a combination of once and twice used. About 825 cases were produced. Yellow Delicious apple, Anjou pear and light wisps of spice are all part of the aroma profile of this Chardonnay. Continued apple, bits of tangerine, and papaya are all part of the deep and layered palate, along with a wallop of pineapple and a well-proportioned spice component. The finish shows off wet limestone and crème brulee in what is a rich, round, super long close that is studded with fruit, spices and hints of toast. This Chardonnay is clean and crisp, enhanced by the oak treatment, not hampered or over-burdened by it.
Trione Vineyards & Winery 2013 Sauvignon Blanc – Suggested retail price is $23. The fruit was hand-picked and pressed into stainless steel tanks. It was fermented with a South African yeast strain. Aging took place over four months in a combination of new (10 percent) and neutral (90 percent) French oak. Just fewer than 2,000 cases were produced. Big, bold, yellow melon and lemon zest aromas are in strong evidence on the nose here. Passion fruit, bits of guava, Bartlett pear and lemon ice inform the rich and succulent palate. Pineapple and green melon are part of the clean, crisp and refreshing finish. This is an incredibly appealing example of Sauvignon Blanc that goes down easy, but also features above-average depth and complexity in the price range.
Trione Vineyards & Winery 2011 Pinot Noir – Suggested retail price is $37. This wine was made in small lots. In total, five different Pinot clones were utilized, and 20 percent of the fruit in each fermenter was whole cluster. Barrel aging occurred over 15 months in all French oak; 45 percent of the barrels were new. Just fewer than 1,300 cases were produced. A hint of pine resin, black cherry and savory herb are all enveloped in the intense nose. Wild strawberry, red and black cherry as well as cinnamon and clove are each prominent on the palate. The fresh fruit flavors, however, lead the flavor charge. Mushroom, black tea and a tiny hint of coal emerge on the persistent finish, along with minerals and copious amounts of earth. Firm acid and tannins, which yield with some air, mark the structure. This Pinot is delicious now, particularly with food. However, if you’re patient, lay it down for the next 6 to 8 years and drink it in the 4 to 5 years after that for even more delicious results.
Scot Covington has many choices in front of him when he selects fruit for the Trione wines. He picks the cream of that to make the Trione Vineyards & Winery offerings. Control of so much fruit also gives Trione the ability to sell wines that represent terrific values. Each of the wines listed above does a fine job of representing Sonoma County at large and Russian River Valley specifically. That they do so at such reasonable prices compared to the quality they are offering is a boon to wine lovers. I heartily recommend jumping on anything with the Trione name on it. You’re sure to get a genuine, well-made Sonoma County wine at a very fair price.