CORKAGE: On Tasting Treana White And Talking With Vij’s Wine Guy Mike Bernardo

by Amorita Bastaja | A bottle or two of note, something overheard and many words read…

TASTED: At Provence Marinaside on Monday I attended an amazing vertical tasting of back vintage Treana White. Focused on even numbered vintages dating back to 1996, the vertical finished with the current release of 2008. Treana White is a proprietary blend of Hope Family Vineyards, the same folks behind Liberty School. It’s a blend of Viognier and Marsanne, two under-appreciated white varietals that find their home normally in the Northern and Southern Rhone, respectively. In the case of Treana White, the fruit comes from the Santa Lucia Highlands in Monterey. The wine undergoes a whole cluster press and sees a touch of new French oak (approximately 20-30 %, depending on the vintage). Overall the wines were stunners, golden yellow in colour and bursting with aromas of ripe peaches and apricots. There was a distinctive floral note, possibly honeysuckle or jasmine that was common throughout each wine. The 2000 and 2006 displayed an almost dessert wine-like viscosity on the palate and the 2002 had a distinct candied ginger nose and taste. It’s so pleasurable to take part in vertical tastings – a wonderful opportunity to understand how a wine will evolve and what it will become…

OVERHEARD: I chatted with Mike Bernardo briefly last week, the sommelier at Vij’s. Mike is probably the biggest Canucks fan I know…

A: What was the last wine you poured down your sink?
M: 1996 Donnhoff Grauburgunder – it was perhaps corked, definitely faulted.
A: What keeps you motivated; what inspires you?
M: The constant change in the industry; how I’m always finding something new. You know, the “thirst for knowledge” (laughs)
A: What wine would you drink out of the Stanley Cup?
M: 1985 Krug Clos du Mesnil. In victory we deserve it. In defeat we need it.

READ: Anthony Gismondi begins to navigate his way through the charged debate about organic versus biodynamic versus sustainable wines…New Zealand isn’t the ugly stepsister anymore! Three top Australian wine competitions have banned New Zealand wines from being entered, stating that New Zealand doesn’t need the help anymore…Bordeaux prices continue to spiral out of control, as China becomes the hot new market everyone wants to court…Producers along the famous Mosel River in Germany are battling a potential new bridge and freeway running though their vineyards which could block sunlight, cause soil damage and affect water supplies…Our neighbours down south are one step closer to privatizing their wholesale liquor distribution system…California is struggling with a nasty spring. Bud break occurred much later than usual, and vineyards have been devastated by snow, frost and rain…Think you know wine?  Let the humbling experience begin with the 2011 Master of Wine Exam

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Amorita Bastaja is a manager at Legacy Liquor Store, the largest liquor store in British Columbia (located in the Athlete’s Village), and the Wine Editor of Scout. Her love of imbibing steered her through courses from the International Sommelier Guild and the Wine & Spirits Education Trust, and has taken her to many wine regions, including Washington State, Napa and Sonoma, Piemonte, Veneto, Tuscany, Abruzzo, Provence and all over the Okanagan Valley.

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