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    90                                   97                                   99                                   10
                                                                                         2005 Reserve
                                                                                         Cabernet Sauvignon
                2007 Chardonnay                     2005                                 #1 TOP 100 WINES                      2005 HāLo
                90 POINTS                           Cabernet Sauvignon                   OF THE YEAR and                       TOP 10 WINES
                Robert Parker                       97 POINTS                            99 POINTS                             of 2009
                The Wine Advocate                   Wine Enthusiast                      Wine Enthusiast                       Connoisseurs’ Guide



Wow, what a year we are having!!!!
In addition to the high points listed above, our wines have earned 10 GOLD MEDALS including a DOUBLE GOLD at the San Francisco Chronicle Wine
Competition for the 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon and GOLD-Best of Class for the 2006 Merlot from the Pacific Rim Competition. This is the second year in a
row our Merlot has come out Best of Class. We are very proud.
               OFF THE VINE
                                                                                                                  1
           THE NEWSLETTER OF TREFETHEN FAMILY VINEYARDS, NAPA VALLEY, CALIFORNIA                                               FALL/WINTER 2010




Extraordinary
 Moments                                                  by Janet Trefethen

This year has been extraordinary in so many ways: The “kids” Loren and Hailey are
                                                                                                       #
fully involved in the business. They are good at it, and enjoy it (so they say!). How
lucky we all are!! Their enthusiasm has greatly contributed to a successful sales year

                                                                                             WINE OF THE YEAR!
in a challenging economy. We are ramping it up and are thrilled to have the press
take notice. The wines are better than ever-thanks to the entire team.
                                                                                                                                     Wine Enthusiast, 2010
As you read through this issue of Off the Vine you will note how lucky we are to have
great people on our team. I truly do not know what we would do without Richard,
“Our Hero”, over the years. He has rescued us more than once. In the “Three
Amigos” you’ll learn about our terrific winegrowing team that is taking our wines
to the top of the charts. And don’t miss our “Thanksgiving Tribute” to our fantastic
employees that have been with us for 10 years and more. Extraordinary people!!!

We all have had silly grins on our faces since learning the Wine Enthusiast is not
only including our Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon in their top 100 wines for 2010
but it is NUMBER ONE!!!!! We want to shout about this from the mountaintops
and have it echo throughout the valleys. Be sure to get the December issue of the
magazine and show all your friends!

It is extraordinary to be celebrating our 35th vintage of both Riesling and
Chardonnay. How many wineries can crow about that and also say each one of the
wines was 100% estate grown, produced and bottled? Thanks to friends like you,
we can.

                                               It was an honor to be invited by the
                                               Luxury Marketing Council to be an
                                               “Iconic Women of Wine” panelist along
                                               with Margrit Mondavi and Margaret
                                               Duckhorn, legends in their own right.
                                               We had a fun time talking about the
                                               wine industry: where is has come from
                                               and is going to. Extraordinary to be a
                                               part of it.

                                                 At the Oak Knoll District of Napa
                                                 Valley’s annual picnic the board pre-
 Stan Boyd, President of the Oak Knoll District  sented me with an OKD bike jersey
 AVA, Janet Trefethen (with the new belt buckle) which qualifies me to ride with the boys
 and OKD Board member Walt Brooks show off       on Fridays. I love these guys-they are
 their bike jerseys.
                                                 in their 50s or so and are a little hefty
and therefore call themselves the Clydesdales!!! But looks can be deceiving; some
of these growers have ridden halfway across the U.S. on their bikes. They also pre-
sented me with a fabulous belt buckle that has big OKD letters in gold on it and an
engraved message of gratitude and appreciation on the back. This was an extra-
ordinary moment that touched my heart and will remain with me forever.

I am back on a good cutting
horse, Ellie Mae Merada, with a
great trainer, Phil Hanson. We
have made the finals at major
shows in Oklahoma and Texas-
and the year isn’t over!!!

But, with all the joy, there has
to be some sadness. Bella, my
dear golden retriever, the wine
dog, “Miss October” in the dog
calendar, the great squirrel
hunter, the best greeter of Janet Trefethen and Ellie Mae in the finals at the Breeder’s
                                    Invitational.
visitors to the winery and the
sweetest four-legged friend a human could hope for passed away on May 11th.
                            Little Miss Remy is doing her best to fill the void and
                            is excitedly greeting winery visitors and helping David
                            in the garden. I was so lucky to have Bella; we shared
                            many extraordinary moments.

                             May you have many joyful remembrances this
                             Thanksgiving, the best of all American holidays.                The Wine Enthusiast magazine has selected Trefethen
                                                                                             Family Vineyard’s Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon for its top
                                                                                             100 wines of 2010 . . . . as #1!!!!! Yes, as the top wine for
                             Bella and Remy Trefethen with bone.                             2010!!!!! Read more in its December issue.
                        Fall 2010 ~ New Releases
                                                         2009 DRY RIESLING
                                                         Our 35th vintage of Riesling is mesmerizingly fresh and fragrant
                                                         with gorgeous jasmine, litchi, green apple, honeyed white peach,
                                                         citrus and slate aromas. Its dry, racy, apple, kiwi, lime and guava
                                                         flavors are powered by bright acidity and refreshing minerality.
                                                         Food pairings: Shellfish, sushi, crab cakes, seared Ahi tuna, lemon
                                                         chicken and a broad assortment of Asian, Southwestern and
                                                         Caribbean dishes. - $22

         2008 CHARDONNAY                                                                             2007 MERLOT
         Our 35th anniversary vintage of Napa Valley Chardonnay is classic                           A potpourri of ripe black cherry, plum compote, smoked meat,
         Trefethen: a perfectly poised balance of fresh golden apple, spiced                         dried tomato, black olive, black tea and sweet vanilla aromas in-
         pear and citrus fruit with toasty, clove-y, creamy tones from partial                       troduces a lush palate of rich dark cherry, plum, cassis and pie
         barrel fermentation and sur lie and French oak aging.                                       spice flavors that culminate in an awesomely lengthy, well-bal-
         Food Pairings: Grilled seafood, herb-roasted chicken, creamy                                anced finish.
         scallops and risotto, white-sauced pastas and simply prepared pork                          Food Pairings: Duck, barbecued chicken, pork tenderloin, beef
         dishes. - $30                                                                               and lamb dishes, tomato-based pastas and black olive and mush-
                                                                                                     room pizza. - $35
         2009 VIOGNIER
         A heady perfume of earthy, floral spice, creamy white peach and                             2007 CABERNET SAUVIGNON
         citrus zest aromas preface richly textured peach, nectarine and                             An exuberant nose of ripe blackcurrants, black cherry, sweet herbs,
         apricot flavors that gain lovely guava, pomelo and mineral tones                            pepper spice, cigar box and oak vanillin introduces a powerful
         in the crisp, refreshing finish.                                                            palate of muscular cassis and blackberry flavors that gain a kick of
         Food Pairings: Citrus, peach and tropical fruit-glazed seafood,                             savory spice and toasty oak in the long, structured finish.
         chicken and pork dishes, as well as spicy Asian and Caribbean                               Food Pairings: Beef, lamb and game dishes, especially those
         cuisines. - $30                                                                             incorporating oregano, thyme, mushrooms and black pepper. - $55

         2009 PINOT NOIR                                                                             2006 RESERVE CABERNET SAUVIGNON
         Our 2009 Pinot Noir has a fruitful nose brimming with dark plum,                            Deep, dark and delicious. Black cherry, black plum, and fig, along
         strawberries, and quince balanced with dark chocolate, anise, and a                         with a tongue-tingling acidity, balance the inherent savory nature
         hint of leather. A classic Pinot Noir body filled with strawberry jam,                      of our hillside fruit. Grippy, lip-smacking tannins lead into a
         cherry pie, hints of thyme, and a light, white pepper spice finish.                         peppery finish. And everywhere, there is chocolate. Mmm.
         Food Pairings: Perfect with lighter meats seasoned with thyme. Try                          Food Pairings: Try with fine cuts of beef and lamb, and for the
         chicken, duck, or lamb on their own, or incorporated into a pasta. - $48                    more patient among us-stews. - $100




35 and Going Strong
The year was 1973.                                                                     Trefethen Chardonnay is
Richard Nixon was still                                                                the Grandmother of all
President, the Cold War                                                                California Chardonnays.
was raging, no one had
heard of the Internet,                                                                 Similarly, we have re-
and there were fewer                                                                   mained steadfast in our
than 25 working winer-                                                                 commitment to Riesling, a
ies in the Napa Valley.                                                                variety that, until recently,
Among them was our                                                                     has largely been shunned
upstart family winery.                                                                 by American wine con-
During the 1973 harvest,                                                               sumers. (During the past
John and I harvested,                                                                  year Riesling sales in the
crushed and fermented                                                                  U.S. have increased 11%,
Trefethen’s first Chardonnay, following up in             the most of any variety.) While the vast majority
1974 with our first Dry Riesling. We’ve produced          of American Rieslings have traditionally been soft
a Chardonnay and Riesling every vintage since
from our Oak Knoll District of Napa Valley estate
vineyard. This September, we’re releasing our 35th
                                                          and sweet, we’ve always made ours in a dry, crisp
                                                          style, with fragrant aromas, mouthwatering acidity
                                                          and refreshing apple and citrus flavors. Like our
                                                                                                                        Our Hero
                                                                                                                        Just last week our Operations Manager of 33
anniversary vintages of these wines, continuing a         Chardonnays, our Rieslings develop beautifully in             years, Richard DeGarmo, was saluting our
long, rich tradition with the world’s most                          bottle, with vintages from the 1970s and            harvest crew on how clean and careful they
noble white wine varieties.                                             ‘80s still drinking well.                       have been, not breaking presses, tractors,
                                                                                                                        or fork lifts. Then Friday night at 7p.m. the
Over the years, our Chardonnays                                             Fortuitously the 35th anniversary           crusher de-stemmer stopped working. After
have won many accolades, begin-                                             vintages of Trefethen Chardonnay            a few hours of disassembling, it turned out it
ning with the 1976 vintage being                                             (2008) and Dry Riesling (2009)             is no fault of our harvest crew (so continued
named “Best Chardonnay in the                                                were both superb years in Napa             kudos to them!) but one of the bearings had
World” at the 1979 Gault Millau                                             Valley. The wines are made in the           shattered. As the machinery was German,
World Wine Olympics in France.                                             classic Trefethen style with fresh           the only part available was on the east coast,
The wine repeated its winning perfor-                                   finely focused fruit, balanced acidity,         which wasn’t going to do us much good as
mance a year later at the “Rematch” in                              and, in the case of our Chardonnay,                 we still had 17 bins to crush that evening
Burgundy. During the 1980s and ‘90s as many               beautifully integrated oak and sur lie aging tones.           and a full day of crush Saturday. So enter
California Chardonnay producers began making                                                                            our hero, Richard, who decided as a wood-
heavily oaked, super-buttery, low-acid renditions,        Fashions come and go, but we have stayed faith-               worker, he could make a ball bearing just as
we stuck to our stylistic guns, crafting fresh, fruit-    ful to the pure, wonderful fruit our estate vineyard          they did in the old days. And guess what?
centered, balanced Chardonnays that have aged             gives us. I like to think that quality is always in           Richard’s hand-made wooden ball bearing
remarkably well in bottle. Now that many of our           style, and that by staying the course and not suc-            held up all weekend until that silly little part
fellow Chardonnay makers have dialed back on the          cumbing to transient trends, we have remained                 arrived. Hurrah for our hero Richard and
oak and butter, we find ourselves back in the main-       true to our roots-literally-with wines that are               American ingenuity!!!
stream we helped create in the 1970s. Some say            pure Trefethen and pure Napa Valley.
                                                                  w w w. t r e f e t h e n . c o m
VINTAGE 2010: Riding the Rollercoaster                                                                                                     by Jon Ruel

 As we wrap up the harvest of 2010,                                                our other varieties survived just fine. Growers that had just removed leaves,
we are both very excited and very                                                  though, suffered major losses as the grapes were shocked by the sunshine.
exhausted. We are excited about the                                                Some entire vineyards were lost but more reported partial damage, up to 40%
quality of this year’s young wines and                                                                                              in Chardonnay.
we are exhausted by the farming it
took to produce them. I often say that                                                                                                   September had some nice
farming is not for the faint of heart and                                                                                                days but was still cooler
this year will certainly be remembered                                                                                                   than average. We often use
as a wild one.                                                                                                                           “degree days”, or heat ac-
                                                                                                                                         cumulation, as an index
It will also be remembered as a cool                                                                                                     for growing season tem-
one, except for a notable two day heat                                                                                                   peratures. Our long-term
spell. In fact, all summer long the talk                                                                                                 average through the end
among growers was about how cool it                                                                                                      of September is a total of
had been-an interesting contrast to                                                                                                      2,672 degree days. This
the scorching heat re-                                                                                                                   year, we had just 2,223, our
ported elsewhere in the                                                                                                                  lowest since 1978! You can
nation. On our ranch,                                                                                                                    imagine our delight when
we realized as early as                                                                                                                       the first couple weeks
May that cool weather                                                                                                                         of October brought
could set us up for a                                                                                                                         sunny and warm days.
later than usual vintage
and took some proac-                                                                                                                       The Chardonnay that
tive steps to encourage                                                                                                                    was usually picked in
ripening. Particularly                                                                                                                     September had hung
in Cabernet Sauvignon,                                                                                                                     around into October
our latest variety, we                                                                                                                     and was now finally
thinned the clusters                                                                                                                       ripe. The later varieties,
more aggressively than                                                                                                                     that had benefited from
usual and were care-                                                                                                                       our early thinning, now
ful to limit the amount of                                                                                                                 ripened rapidly in the
irrigation.                                                                                                                                warm October sun. All
                                                                                                                                           of a sudden, everything
By mid-August, the weather                                                                   was ready at once! This made for some long days (and nights). It
had stayed cooler than                                                                       was not uncommon for the vineyard harvest to start at 2 a.m. and
average and we were glad                                                                     the winery crew to finish at 11 p.m. But what a relief to bring grapes
we took those early steps.                                                                   in before the November rains. Oh yeah, the rains. We actually got
Some other growers in                                                                        brushed with a couple of early storms, starting around October 17th,
Napa and the other county                                                                    just enough to add more pressure to an already hectic harvest!
next door, were now get-
ting very concerned about                                                                    Harvest time at the winery is called “crush” and this year it certainly
delayed ripening and high                                                                    felt like it. Looking back, I think we were able to succeed with this
mildew pressure and took the unusual step of late-season leaf removal around       roller coaster year, to excel really, because we grow all the grapes for our wines
the clusters. The reason we don’t usually do this so late is because of the        ourselves, and have been doing it right here in the same spot for over 40 years.
increased risk of sunburn during a heat spell. I guess nobody thought we’d         This experience has taught us how to handle the variety of vintages that come
get a heat spell. We did. On August 24th, temperatures soared to 111°F,            our way and our estate-grown nature allows us to respond in real-time, craft-
and some grapes got burned. We actually lost a fair amount of Riesling, but        ing world-class wines, from the ground up.




The Three Amigos                                                              from the University of California at
                                                                              Davis and then worked for several
                                                                              years in the biotech industry, focus-
                                                                                                                         Thanksgiving Tribute
                                                                                                                         to all our employees with an extra
                                                                              ing on cancer research. A love of
                                                                                                                         special thank you to the following that
                                                                              wine led him back to school for his
                                                                                                                         have been with us for 10 years or more:
                                                                              Masters in Viticulture and Enology
                                                                              at UC Davis. After his Trefethen           Alfonso Beas           Lynne McComas
                                                                              internship, Zeke worked at Bonny
                                                                              Doon Vineyard in Santa Cruz and            Alvaro Mendoza         Marcelina Sanchez
                                                                              Schug Carneros Estate Winery be-           Angel Solorio          Mario Sanchez
                                                                              fore rejoining us in 2008 as Assistant     Bertha Garcia          Martin Cruz
                                                                              Winemaker. In January 2009 he was
                                                                              promoted to Winemaker.                     Betty Calvin           Mary Ware

                   Jon Ruel, Zeke Neeley and Bryan Kays                                                                  Cindy Leonard          Michael Baldini
                                                                               Bryan earned an undergraduate
                                                                                                                         David Alosi            Mike “Bear” Evans
No, we’re not talking about LeBron James, Dwyane           degree in English Literature from Cal Poly SLO and
Wade and Chris Bosh of the Miami Heat, but our wine-       then, like any self-respecting English major, turned to       David Whitehouse       Moices Dorado
making team of Jon Ruel, Zeke Neeley and Bryan Kays.       wine as a career. He worked at Story Winery in the            Debby Hansen           Paulino Cortina
                                                           Sierra Foothills and, after a few vintages, earned his UC
                                                                                                                         Ernesto Duran          Peter Luthi
We are extremely fortunate at Trefethen to have a          Davis Viticulture and Enology degree before joining
talented trio of youthful (all in their 30s), yet highly   Trefethen in 2006 as a Viticulture intern. Bryan then         Ernesto Llamas         Phil Manifold
experienced winegrowers. Jon Ruel, our Director of         worked his way into the cellar, and ultimately to the         Eva Cortina            Prudencio Meza
Viticulture and Winemaking, brings a vast knowledge        Assistant Winemaker position.
                                                                                                                         Gavino Villegas        Ramiro Garcia
of viticulture, a rigorously scientific approach and a
keen environmental consciousness to the company.           Jon, Zeke and Bryan confer constantly, reflecting the         Gerald Bush            Richard DeGarmo
Jon summarizes Trefethen’s estate-based sustainability     synergy between vineyard and winery. “We have a great         Graciano Garcia        Robin Schneider
programs as “more balance, less input” and “controlling    collaborative decision-making process,” Jon says, “which
quality from dirt to table.”                               is founded on seeking consensus. I bring knowledge of         Heliodoro Tapia        Sandra Harmyk
                                                           the vineyard to our discussions, while Zeke and Bryan         John Harrington        Steve Baldini
Working closely with Jon are Winemaker Zeke Neeley         execute our decisions in the winery. Maybe it’s because
                                                                                                                         Jorge Santos           Tony Baldini
and Assistant Winemaker Bryan Kays, both of whom           we all have degrees from UC Davis and are roughly the
began their winemaking careers interning at Trefethen.     same age, but we have an excellent working relationship,      Joseph Cusimano
Zeke earned his undergraduate degree in Biochemistry       which I think is reflected in the quality of our wines.”
                                                               w w w. t r e f e t h e n . c o m

				
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