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Trefethen Family Vineyards

2011 Merlot

Because Merlot flourishes in relatively cool growing regions with moist soils, it’s extremely well-suited to the ancient alluvial loams, temperate climate, and long growing season of our estate vineyard in the Oak Knoll District of Napa Valley, a sweet spot between Napa’s warmer up-valley regions and its cool southern tip.


  • 2011


  • 77% Merlot
    12% Malbec
    11% Cabernet Sauvignon


  • Oak Knoll District of Napa Valley

Estate Vineyard

  • 100% Main Ranch


  • September 28-October 28


  • 18 months in 61% French
    22% American
    17% Hungarian


  • 14.0%

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The Vintage

2011 got off to a late start with a cool and wet spring. A surprise rain in our typically dry June was followed by a more seasonable, but cooler summer. We were delighted by a very warm and dry September. October was a roller-coaster with some rains early on and then, thankfully it was dry and warm. Being 100% estate grown, we opted to drop fruit affected by the colder weather and produce our wines from only the remaining ripe and well-balanced grapes. Thus, our yields were considerably smaller and the grapes rich in flavor.

The Wine

This Merlot begins with rich savory aromas of cherry, cinnamon, cedar and leather. The mid-palate brings lush flavors of ripe raspberry and molasses, finishing with a lingering hint of black pepper. Bright and complex, this is a balanced wine that will continue to develop.

Food Affinities

Delicious with duck, barbecued chicken, cherry-glazed pork tenderloin, beef and lamb dishes, tomato-based pastas and black olive and mushroom pizza.


GOLD ~ 91 POINTS (v. 2011)
Los Angeles International Wine Competition
May 2014

90 POINTS (v. 2010)
Anthony Dias Blue, The Tasting Panel
August 2013

GOLD (v. 2010)
Anthony Dias Blue, Tasters Guild International Wine Competition
May 2013

90 POINTS (v. 2009)
“Smooth, fresh and mellow with nice spice and elegant flavors of plum and cinnamon; juicy and charming.”
Anthony Dias Blue, The Tasting Panel
January 2013

(v. 2009)
Gayot, December 2012

PLATINUM (v. 2009)
San Diego International Wine Competition,
June 2012

BEST MERLOT ~ Winemaker Challenge (v. 2008)
(900 Wines Tasted)
Robert Whitley, January 2012

TOP 5 MERLOTS (v. 2008)
(80 International Merlots Tasted)
"After being slammed by Hollywood, Merlot is getting its due again"
Bob Ecker, Napa Valley Register,
January 2012

93 POINTS (v. 2007)
“Easily one of the best Napa Valley Merlots out there.”
Editors’ Choice Wine Enthusiast Magazine

Vintage 2002 "...Reminds me of the best merlots produced in the Pomerol region of France..."
Bob Hosmon, Syndicated Columnist

Vintage 2001 "...reminiscent of the ethereal, merlot-based wines made by Christian Moueix in Pomerol..."
Ben Giliberti, Washington Post

Trefethen Family Vineyards
Trefethen Family Vineyards