Trefethen Estate Chardonnay 2017
A beautiful gold color illuminates the glass and aromas of lemon, honeysuckle, and pear greet the nose. The fresh palate features more citrus flavors, as well as green apple, and a clean finish. The oak influence in this wine is subtle but important, adding a note of vanilla on the nose and a pleasant roundness on the palate. Another classic vintage of Trefethen Chardonnay!
The clean flavors and bright acidity in this wine allow for wonderful food pairings. Ingredients such as almonds, hazelnuts, tarragon, thyme, and lime zest work particularly well. Restrained use of mustard is also a good match. Serve with vegetables, seafood, or lighter meats.
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 farther north up the valley; 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.
Notable producers include Trefethen, one of the appellation’s oldest wineries, Robert Biale, legendary Zinfandel producer and Lewis Cellars, a family-run, hands-on establishment.
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 it tends to flourish in most environments, Chardonnay from its Burgundian homeland produces some of the most remarkable and longest lived examples. California produces both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines. Somm Secret—The Burgundian subregion of Chablis, while typically using older oak barrels, produces a bright style similar to the unoaked style. Anyone who doesn't like oaky Chardonnay would likely enjoy Chablis.