1160 Oak Knoll Avenue, Napa, California 94558
by Sergio Sismondo

{short description of image} Trefethen is located on the east side of the St. Helena Highway, just leaving the city of Napa. The entrance to the winery is on Oak Knoll Avenue, about 1/2 mile away from the highway. The main building, dating from 1886, is a National Historic Landmark. The gardens surrounding the main building are in themselves spectacular. They are comprised of meticulously manicured aromatic herbs and other plants, and they are symbolic of the care with which this winery does everything else. The tasting room is cool and quiet, and loaded with interesting and tasteful accessories, wine books and cook books for visitors to purchase. {short description of image}
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(1) The 1997 vintage of this Trefethen Estate wine won the title of "BEST RED WINE IN AMERICA" at the Atlanta International Wine Challenge. The 1999 vintage won a gold medal, the same title "BEST RED WINE IN AMERICA", in addition to "BEST OF SHOW". The 1996 vintage won a Gold Medal at the West Coast Wine Competition, and another Gold Medal at the California State Fair Wine Competition.

(2) The 2003 vintage of this excellent Dry Riesling won a Gold Medal and "BEST OF CLASS" at the San Diego National Wine Competition, and many more accolades by the San Francisco Chronicle, Decanter Magazine, and others. This is another wine we regularly purchase at the winery.

(3) The Dry Riesling from the 2005 vintage is among the best wines we have had in years priced at $20.00.

(4) "Quandary" is a blend of 60% Viognier, 20% Riesling, and 20% Chardonnay.

(5) This magnificent 2004 Trefethen Estate Chardonnay was awarded FIVE STARS by the Restaurant Wine Magazine.

(6) This wonderful Merlot is blended with 15% Cabernet-Sauvignon, both grapes from the Tefethen Estate in Oak Knoll District.

  • Our choice for most interesting red wine tasted is the 2004 Cabernet Franc, from the Trefethen Estate, Oak Knoll District, which is priced at $35 and received our rating of 92. This wonderful creation, in the Bordeaux style, is rich and lush, with many layered aromas, especially reminding the palate of cherries. We recommend to buy some of this, as we did during our last visit to Trefethen, and as we did with the 2001 and 2002 vintage releases of the same wine in previous years.
  • Our choice for most interesting white wine is 2003 Viognier, from the Trefethen Estate, priced at $30 and which received our rating of 90. This wonderfully complex wine gives hints of rose petals in the aroma, and follows with nuances of oranges and lemons. This could be among the best Viognier wines anywhere. In fact, the California Grapevine named the 2002 vintage of this wine among the RECOMMENDED-TOP TEN Viognier wines.
  • Our choice for "best value for money" is the Merlot Trefethen Estate 2003, priced at $30, and with our rating of 91. This wine was also the winner of a Gold Medal at the County Fair, and another Gold Medal at California State Fair Wine Competition.
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Trefethen consistently produces admirable wines. This year we tasted a range of wines, both white and red, Dry Riesling, Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc, and a variety of Cabernet-Sauvignon wines. All the wines were excellent, and we rated them in the very upper 80's and 90's.

Trefethen's 2001 Chardonnay won the title of "BEST CHARDONNAY IN THE WORLD" at the World Wine Olympics, of France's Gault Millau Magazine. Trefethen's Cabernet Sauvignon of 1998 won First Prize, "TOP RANKED CABERNET SAUVIGNON" by Connoisseurs Guide to California Wine.

  • Our preference for a white wine goes to the Chardonnay Estate 'Harmony". It is priced at $36 and received our rating of 92.
  • Our choice of the best red wine tasted in 2003 was the Cabernet Sauvignon Estate Reserve 1998, which is priced at $70 and we rated 95. This wine won many awards, including "Best Cabernet Sauvignon in California" at the California State Fair.
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  • A second choice of red wine was the Merlot Estate of 1999. It is priced at $26, and has our rating of 92.
  • Our "Best value for money" choice goes to the Riesling Estate of 2001, a wonderful dry style Riesling, priced at $15 and which received our rating of 87.

Earlier in 2003 we had listed as one of our preferences the Cabernet Sauvignon Estate of 1999, which is priced at $40 and which we had rated 91.

There is a 10% mixed case discount.

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Learn More about Trefethen Connection, including this winery's wine club, go to: