May 24, 2011 0 comments Articles & Reviews, By Jonathan Cristaldi

Whirlwind WineWeek: Blending to Trefethen Family Vineyards

The Noble Rot and Trefethen Family Vineyards | Williamsburg, Brooklyn | Friday, May 20  Photo by Laura Huben

It was an exhausting and rewarding week for The Noble Rot: we hosted three Blending Events at BK Winery and then on Friday, May 20th, Loren Trefethen of Trefethen Family Vineyards joined us as we tasted through six of his family’s incredible wines.

Trefethen Family Vineyards have been producing outstanding wines since the early days of Napa’s revolution. When the valley was planted as far as the eye could see with Walnut trees, the Trefethens were planting Riesling and Cabernet and Chardonnay. In 1979 at the World Olympics of Wine (France’s best effort to reinstate their status as supreme ruler of all things wine after the infamous 1976 Paris Tasting) the Trefethen’s Chardonnay took first place. In fact, Loren tells an amazing story about the reaction by the French Wine Hierarchy. Listen here: Trefethen Chardonnay (4:43)

The Chardonnay that sailed a thousand Chardonnays! Photo by Laura Huben

Very exciting for the Noble Rotters present was the fact that not a soul on the east coast prior to last night’s tasting had ever sampled the 2007 Harmony Chardonnay or newly released Dragon’s Tooth—a blend of Malbec, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Sauvignon. For an established Napa-staple winery, this is a a unique and wildly theatrical bottling.

Behold: Trefethen Dragon’s Tooth! || Photo by Brian Quinn

I beg of you, good reader, to add Trefethen to your list of wines to drink if you have not and if you are a fan already, lookout for Harmony and Dragon’s Tooth because they are rock stars and will transport you back in time: after one sip, fellas will recall catching that touchdown pass—the one that led to a win at the All-State Football Championship match. And for the gals: it shall remind you of the night you were voted prom queen (and I know you all were voted prom queen). As for the Oakville Chardonnay, an absolute delight for me (as I’m fast becoming a Chardonnay fan), and this pony boasts no malolactic fermentation, but a touch of oak leading to an elegant finish that lingers and evolves on the palate.


Many, many thanks to Loren and the rest of the Trefethen Family for sharing their wine with us at The Noble Rot.

Loren Trefethen talks about his family’s Chardonnay | photo by Laura Huben

Listen to other parts of the interview with Loren here:

Trefethen History-Riesling (5:12)

Trefethen Climate and Soil (3:20)

Trefethen Harmony Chardonnay (4:05)

Trefethen Reds, Mmmmm (5:54)

Far right: MaxZT at the Dulcimer – Thanks to Max!

Earlier in the week we hosted back-to-back blending events at the Brooklyn Winery, leading an array of individuals into the realm of “winemaker for a day.” For these blending sessions we work with the five Noble Varietals crafting “Meritage” blends from the Parlor Room at the winery. Everyone is supplied with beakers and graduated cylinders just like back in science class. The events offer guests an opportunity to really explore their palate in social, relaxed, team-building environment (just like the old days of little league).

Jonny Cigar inspects the blenders… “hard at work.”

And as a treat, we witnessed BK Winery Winemaker Conor McCormack bottling his first vintage of Brooklyn Pinot Noir! Check out the video below!


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