#MerlotMe: Trefethen Family Vineyards 2013 Oak Knoll District Merlot

Hello Friends,

Breaking News: Wine enthusiasts all over the world are celebrating ‘International Merlot Month’ throughout October! I’m kicking it off here with Trefethen Family Vineyards' 2013 Merlot. If this month-long event is news to you, then I invite you to join the fun and add to the discussion. Please share your favorite Merlot experiences, tasting notes, and images on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc., and tag them with hashtag #MerlotMe.

Trefethen Family Vineyards is one of the early pioneering families of Napa Valley. Established as Eshcol winery in 1886 by a Scottish sea captain, the building was eventually neglected and left to ruin. The modern era for the winery began when the Trefethen family purchased the abandoned property in 1968 and began work on restoring the historic winery to its former self. At the time, there were fewer than 25 wineries in Napa Valley and wine grapes were not the region’s top crop. According to John Trefethen, “Plums, prunes and walnuts were the dominant crops.”

I really think Miles would love this Merlot!

Today, Trefethen remains family-owned and specializes in 100% estate-grown wines produced from their Main Ranch in the Oak Knoll District of Napa Valley appellation. The Merlot fruit grown on this site benefits from warm days, which ripen and slowly matures the berries while the cooler nights help retain the natural, balancing acids.

Generally speaking, Merlot is oftentimes – and sometimes rightly so – seen as lacking in structure, mid-palate depth, and length. However, when the site and growing conditions are ideal and there is a laser focus on quality, as is the case here, results can be a harmonious, well-structured wine with admirable depth and length.  These examples have the potential to further develop in the bottle over time. The Trefethen Family Vineyards' 2013 Merlot is quite appealing and a welcome addition to any dinner table. For further information and where you can find this wine, please see my tasting notes below.

Trefethen Family Vineyards 2013 Merlot

Trefethen Family Vineyards 2013 Merlot (SRP $40): This deep ruby colored Merlot is drinking beautifully right now. Inviting scents of ripe plum, dried cherries, and spice fill the nose. The aromas extend to the palate, where they’re nicely wrapped in a delicate bow of vanilla bean and spiced fruitcake, while a dash of dried herb towards the back-end adds complexity. In the mouth, this wine is full-bodied with a rich texture that builds through the mid-palate. There is good balance of lifting acids and well-integrated tannins. The wine ends in a medium-long, polished finish. A pleasure to sip and an excellent addition to the dinner table – enjoy this wine with rosemary & garlic roasted pork loin, red sauce dishes, cornish hen and more. Region: Oak Knoll District of Napa Valley, Napa Valley, California. Other info: ABV 14.8%, 95% Merlot | 4% Malbec | 1% Cabernet Sauvignon,  18 months in (40% new) 50% French oak, 36% American and 14% Hungarian oak barrels, cork enclosure. Click here to find this wine.

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