Most Napa wineries seeking to produce an “entry” or value bottling must seek out fruit from far beyond the borders of Napa County if they want to keep the price down. Not so, Trefethen. Double T, their “truly fun wine at a great price,” is made from the same plots on the Oak Knoll Main Ranch that produce their entire range of estate wines. “Double T” is meant to evoke the look of vines trained on a quadrilateral cordon trellis - four arms resembling two Ts – as well as to acknowledge that the winery is run by four Trefethens spanning two generations. Composed of all five classic Bordeaux varieties, Double T nevertheless rearranges the traditional blend in an intriguing way, with Petite Verdot and Malbec playing a much larger role than usual. The result is a wine that is purple black in color, lush and creamy on both nose and palate, and awash in blackberry, cassis, cloves and milky dark chocolate. As summer extends into autumn, Double T will taste great with barbecue or more elegant fare. The winery even suggests pepper-crusted Ahi tuna.
A family-owned producer of distinguished estate wines for over 50 years, Trefethen Family Vineyards has always been guided by a unique dedication to sustainable farming, thoughtful winemaking and gracious hospitality. The majority of Trefethen’s nearly 600 acres are found on the Main Ranch Vineyard, located in Oak Knoll – about midway between Yountville and Napa – a cooler district in the southern half of the Napa Valley. The other property is the Hillspring Vineyard, on the low foothills of the mountains just to west of Oak Knoll. Trefethen produces mainly Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Riesling. However, it farms a total of nine grape varieties, the others being Malbec, Petite Verdot, Cabernet Franc, Viognier and Pinot Noir. (The other varieties are either used for blending, released in special bottlings or sold to other wineries).
Eugene Trefethen, an engineering company executive, purchased the historic, but run-down property in 1968 as a post-retirement hobby. When his son, John, suggested replanting the vineyards and founding an estate winery, the idea was considered foolhardy at best. Back then, the Napa Valley was an isolated community with more prune and walnut orchards than vineyards, and only 20 wineries were in existence. But the estate happened to feature a standing winery building from an earlier era, which added credence to the idea that wine would be both history and future. As it turned out, John and his wife, Janet, caught the new Napa winemaking wave, and their energy propelled Trefethen Family Vineyards into becoming one of the top new wineries of the 1970s. Indeed, in 1979 the 1976 Trefethen Chardonnay was declared “The Best Chardonnay in the World” at the Gault Millau Wine Olympics held in Paris.
Since the mid-2000s, the third generation of Trefethens, John and Janet’s children, Hailey and Lorenzo, have taken charge. 50 years has given this family an intimate understanding of their vineyards, from the soils and microclimates of the various blocks to the varietals, the clones and the rootstock. With this knowledge, they can continue to create new blends and reserve wines made from superior blocks of the very best vines and build on a legacy of estate grown wines of remarkable quality and integrity.
|Appellation(s)||Oak Knoll District (Napa)|
|Varietal(s)||55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Petit Verdot, 13% Malbec, 8% Merlot, 1% Cabernet Franc|
|Bottle Size||7.6 x 30.5|
|Case Size||31.5 x 24.0 x 30.5|
Aromas of blackberries and cassis with notes of dark chocolate, clove and baking spices lead to juicy flavors of black cherry, blackberry with more chocolate, cedar, cinnamon and clove emerging in the finish. The texture is soft and the wine ready to drink.