Plaited pleasure

After my last tasting note of Envinate’s Benje Blanco 2020, we are back on the volcanic island of Tenerife to try Trenzado 2020 from Suertes del Marques; another wine influenced by the unusual growing conditions there.

Trenzado is named after the vine-trellising method unique to Tenerife. The Trenzado method trains all the vine branches to one side and plaits them together (trenzado is Spanish for ‘plait’). You can see a picture of it on the label below.

The wine is made from six vineyards selected for their poor volcanic soil. Listan Blanco (aka Palomino Fino) is grown here, interspersed with 2% Torrontes Volcanico. Juice from these grapes is fermented in 2,000, 2,500 and 4,500 litre foudres with 15% fermenting in 500 litre barrels. It is then aged for 10 months and bottles off its settled lees.

We are told the volcanic soils make this wine reductive, whilst the sur lie bottling gives it a bit of a zesty spritz.

Shall we see if that is true?

Trenzado 2020, Suertes del MarqueTrenzado 2020, Suertes del Marques

Right, I must make it clear that this is not quite a conventional wine. No way is it as whacked-out and crazy as the Benje Blanco 2020, but it is not quite conventional. That being said, if you are as aesthetically flexible enough to enjoy cats’ piss-themed New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, as they are all themed upon, you would probably get on with Trenzado 2020.

There is definite reduction on the nose, with shades of sulphur, deflating beach ball air and rubber. That is not all there is; you cannot hide the essential character of Palomino. There may be no nutty flor, but the lemon fruit and rapier-like precision do not fail to remind one of Fino.

Some people say Tenerife whites remind them of white Burgundy; not this one, matey! No oaky toastiness, no baby vomit and the fruit is all wrong. Pronounced fruit here, lemony fruit with shades on watermelon; these are super-ripe and throbbing with life.

This has an energetic, exciting nose. Sherry swirled in an PVC banana that has been inflated with volcanic exudate. There is more that a shade of Atlantic Ocean water to the nose as well. It is going to be bitchingly acidic, I can tell; oh, my poor stomach.

The entry of Trenzado 2020 is surprisingly delicate, a light sur lie spritz enlivens elegant watermelon juice with a slice of lemon at the edge of the glass. Lovely. We like this!

Then bang! The acidity and weight hit you at the same time. Incredible density unravels, with fresh Fino Sherry flavours, lemon cordial and a powerful dose of sulphury minerals. All this density and power does not come from overripe grapes; this wine is only 12%. It is a product of the varietal and the location and qualities of the vineyard.

The other massive feature of Trenzado 2020’s palate is its almost terrifying acidity levels. I say ‘almost’ because they are in perfect harmony with the other flavours I have listed and give them energy and real spunk. This throbs with vivacious, astounding quality. Not exactly conventional quality, but who wants their life to be conventional?

The Editor and I noticed another facet of this wine that may add a little to the weight of the palate, and certainly keep the extreme acid levels from becoming acrid. The palate of Trenzado 2020 seems to have a tiny, tiny hint of sweetness to it. This is barely perceptible, but I feel it is important in maintaining the almost aggressively perfect balance of the wine.

If Benje Blanco 2020 seemed a bit too wild for your wonts, but you want to experience the assertively fun, floridly stylish and just god-damn unique wines of Tenerife, I heartily recommend Trenzado 2020. It will keep for five or so years, but if I were you I would dive right in to experience its thrilling charms. Oh yes, those charms certainly thrill.

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