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Trefethen Family Vineyards

2012 Chardonnay

In 1979, Trefethen 1976 Chardonnay was named “Best Chardonnay in the World” at the Gault Millau World Wine Olympics in France, beginning our 30-year tradition of excellence with this most popular of white wines. Key to our success is our vineyard’s location in the Oak Knoll District of Napa Valley, where well-drained, loamy soils and a marine-influenced climate yield Chardonnay grapes with rich, balanced flavors.


  • 2012


  • 100% Chardonnay


  • Oak Knoll District of Napa Valley

Estate Vineyard

  • 100% Main Ranch


  • September 20–October 6


  • 9 months (21% new) 81% French and 19% Hungarian

Barrel Fermentation

  • 71%

Malolactic Fermentation

  • 24%


  • 14.1% by volume

Join one of our wine clubs

The Vintage

A classic vintage for the Napa Valley, the 2012 growing season was characterized by warm days and cool nights. In our vineyards in the Oak Knoll District, a dry and warm spring provided the vines with a strong start and the summer was generally mild with most days getting up into the 80’s and many nights as low as the 40’s. The early start to the season was tempered by a slightly cooler than average autumn resulting in typical harvest dates for all varieties–and grapes and wines of exceptional quality.

The Wine

The wine has a spicy nose which highlights apple, pineapple, lemon cream and floral aromas. A rich body lingers with flavors of vanilla, apple pastry and lemon zest. The mild summer gave us ideal hang-times for very even ripening on the vine and thus produced a rich, well-balanced wine with bright acidity and a slight stony mineral finish.

Food Affinities

Grilled seafood, herb-roasted chicken, creamy scallops and risotto, white-sauced pastas and simply prepared pork dishes all make excellent accompaniments.


90 POINTS (v. 2012)
Anthony Dias Blue, The Tasting Panel August 2014

DOUBLE GOLD ~ 98 Points ~ BEST WHITE WINE/NAPA (v. 2012)
California State Fair Wine Competition, June 2014

GOLD ~ 95 Points ~ BEST OF CLASS (v. 2012)
Los Angeles International Wine Competition, May 2014

When it comes to Chardonnay, just remembering that nothing beats a balanced classic. 2012 Trefethen is reminding me! (v. 2012)
Sara Schneider, Sunset Magazine, July 2014

91 Points (v. 2012)
Nick Ponomareff, California Grapevine, January 2014

90 Points (v. 2011)
Wine Enthusiast, September 2013

4 1/2 STARS (v. 2010)
"Fine quality Chardonnay, in a full, elegant style."
Ronn Wiegand, Restaurant Wine, July 2012

SILVER (v. 2010)
NextGen Wine Competition

1st Place, 91 Points (v. 2009)
“Very highly recommended”
California Grapevine

90 POINTS (v. 2009)
“This winery is one of the old schools that are leading the new school. This is a lovely effort from one of Napa's founding families.”
Mark Tarbell, AZ Central,


Trefethen Family Vineyards
Trefethen Family Vineyards