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Trefethen Estate Chardonnay 2015

Chardonnay from Oak Knoll District, Napa Valley, California
  • WE91
  • RP90
  • D90
13.5% ABV
  • WE94
  • W&S90
  • D90
  • TP90
  • W&S92
  • D91
  • TP90
  • RP90
  • WS88
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3.9 9 Ratings
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3.9 9 Ratings
13.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The nose opens with bursts of orange blossoms and hints of lemon cream pie. The palate is full yet bright, offering a pleasant viscosity and subtle notes of kiwi. The clean finish adds an exclamation point with elegance.

The perfect balance of body and acidity makes this an ideal food wine. It will shine with light dishes featuring shellfish, grilled fish, chicken or pasta with spring vegetables. Fresh tarragon as an accent herb works quite well.

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
WE 91
Wine Enthusiast
This wine combines fruity tropical flavors of pineapple, honey and papaya with lighter tones of orange and green apple. The rich palate is lifted by bright acidity and a lingering crispness.
RP 90
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2015 Chardonnay Oak Knoll District offers loads of crisp white peach, honeysuckle, apple blossom and citrus oil notes followed by a zesty, well-balanced and impeccably clean and fresh Chardonnay with the oak barely noticeable whatsoever. This is a medium to full-bodied, beautifully rendered Oak Knoll Chardonnay to drink over the next 7-8 years.
D 90
Decanter
Clean, saline and mineral at the start, this theme continues with wafts of sea breeze and oyster shell complexity. The oak is powerful, giving a whiff of toasty pineapple.
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Trefethen

Trefethen Vineyards

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Trefethen Vineyards, Oak Knoll District, Napa Valley, California
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Built in 1886, John and Janet Trefethen began restoring what is today the Trefethen winery in 1973. A national historic landmark and the only wooden gravity-flow winery in the Napa Valley, Trefethen is also one of Napa's largest estate wineries, with its 600 acres of vineyards surrounding the winery. The Trefethen family creates Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Riesling as well as limited quantities of Library Selection Chardonnay, Library Selection Cabernet Sauvignon and Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon.

Oak Knoll District

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As one of Napa’s coolest sub-appellations, the area begs for diversity among its vineyards. Merlot and Chardonnay firmly compete with Cabernet Sauvignon for a place here. Some of Napa’s best Zinfandels also come from the Oak Knoll District.

Situated far in Napa’s southern end, Oak Knoll receives a strong cooling influence from both the San Pablo Bay and the Pacific Coast’s evening fog and breezes. Summer days are warm but on average ten degrees cooler than in St. Helena; summer nights are chilly. A long growing season promotes for leisurely ripening of grape berries, resulting in an impressive balance of sugars, phenols and acidity in resulting wines.

Notable producers are Trefethen, one of the appellation’s oldest wineries, Robert Biale, legendary Zinfandel producer and Lewis Cellars, a family-run, hands-on establishment.

Chardonnay

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One of the most popular and versatile white wine grapes, Chardonnay offers a wide range of flavors and styles depending on where it is grown and how it is made. While practically every country in the wine producing world grows it, Chardonnay from its Burgundian homeland produces some of the most remarkable and longest lived examples. As far as cellar potential, white Burgundy rivals the world’s other age-worthy whites like Riesling or botrytized Semillon. California is Chardonnay’s second most important home, where both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines enjoy great popularity. Oregon, Australia and South America are also significant producers of Chardonnay.

In the Glass

When planted on cool sites, Chardonnay flavors tend towards grapefruit, lemon zest, green apple, celery leaf and wet flint, while warmer locations coax out richer, more tropical flavors of melon, peach and pineapple. Oak can add notes of vanilla, coconut and spice, while malolactic fermentation imparts a soft and creamy texture.

Perfect Pairings

Chardonnay is as versatile at the table as it is in the vineyard. The crisp, clean, Chablis-like styles go well with flaky white fish with herbs, scallops, turkey breast and soft cheeses. Richer Chardonnays marry well with lobster, crab, salmon, roasted chicken and creamy sauces.

Sommelier Secret

Since the 1990s, big, oaky, buttery Chardonnays from California have enjoyed explosive popularity. More recently, the pendulum has begun to swing in the opposite direction, towards a clean, crisp style that rarely utilizes new oak. In Burgundy, the subregion of Chablis, while typically employing the use of older oak barrels, produces a similar bright and acid-driven style. Anyone who doesn't like oaky Chardonnay would likely enjoy its lighter style.

WWH143490_2015 Item# 165336