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Truchard Vineyards

Truchard Vineyards - Prince Wine Store

Truchard Vineyards

There are not many wineries in Northern California with such a long and distinguished history of making quality wines at affordable prices as Truchard. CONNOISSEURS’ GUIDE

[ON TRUCHARD VEINYARDS CABERNET SAUVIGNON] This wine remains one of the finest values in the Napa Valley and a cool-climate example of the variety, to boot. VIRGINIE BOONE, Wine Enthusiast

With so much travel between Australia and the US in the last 5 years or so today I have more customers than ever before chasing great American wines on our shores. So many of you have dined and drank at great restaurants from New York to San Francisco but can’t find the wines they have enjoyed there, back here at home.

There are no doubt a collection of the best of the best from the US that arrive in Australia each year, the likes of Littorai and Dunn Vineyards being a few of our favourites here. But, these are fine wines with prices to match and below there appears to be a dearth of inspiring well made wines. That’s why I was excited to write today’s offer after tasting through the newly landed releases from Napa’s Truchard Vineyards last week.

I would guess most of you won’t be too familiar with Truchard, so a little background here might help. Dr Tony Truchard came to Carneros in the Napa Valley in the early 70s, having been posted to a small town north of Reno as an army doctor. There wasn’t too much going on here back than and the advice around this cool corner of the Napa Valley was that it was too marginal for grape growing, too cool and ripening would be a struggle. He decided to buy anyway, grabbing a 21 hectare property in the slightly warmer north-east corner of Carneros.

This would prove to be a smart move as today Carneros has an enviable reputation for producing excellent quality, finesse driven cool-climate wines, that sit in stark contrast to the blockbuster offerings from many their Napa brethren. The afternoon breezes that sweep up from the bay cool down this area which can be ten to fifteen degrees cooler to somewhere like St Helena.

The second part of what makes the Truchard’s vineyards so special are their soils. There is a fault that runs through their property which outlines the convergence of the volcanic soils of Mayacamas and Mt Veeder and the marine sediment and clay that defines much of Carneros. This gives our Truchard significant variation in soil types which opens up even more tools at their disposal. Tony Truchard’s punt all those years ago turned out far better than he could have ever imagined.

Ok so enough about soil types and cooling winds, what are the wines like?

There is a wonderful underlying character that runs through these wines that I really enjoy. There’s a generosity and sensual nature to them, they do speak of their Napa heritage but there is a beautiful balance to the wines as well.  The chardonnay delivers those Napa notes of pineapple, apple pie and figgy spice but there a lovely line of citrussy acidity too which keeps everything motoring along.  Rich, but balanced.

The cabernet sits in a similar mould. Interestingly in most of Carneros cabernet can struggle to ripen, but Truchard have a slightly warmer aspect which allows them to get their fruit lovely and ripe. Expressive on the nose there are plenty of juicy blackcurrant and plummy fruits here, paired up with sweet woodsy spice. This is a French oak affair, no American, so the oak is more of a back up singer than a frontman and slides in nicely. The overall feeling here, as with the chardonnay, is one of balanced, seductive drinkability.

I have left the Syrah until last here because for me it’s the pick of the bunch with just a little more under the good. It’s perfumed with a lovely array of red, black and event blue fruits but there’s floral tinge here too and a dusting of white pepper and fennel pollen. It’s heady, but full of intrigue and after taking a sip it’s the wonderfully silken texture that strikes you, there’s a little sinew too and those tannins shape the back of the wine beautifully.

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There are not many wineries in Northern California with such a long and distinguished history of making quality wines at affordable prices as Truchard. CONNOISSEURS' GUIDE

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Truchard Cabernet Sauvignon 2018 $75.00 $75.00
Truchard Chardonnay 2020 $70.00 $70.00
Truchard Syrah 2019 $70.00 $70.00
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