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Trefethen Family Vineyards

2016 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.


  • 2016


  • 100% Chardonnay


  • Oak Knoll District of Napa Valley

Estate Vineyard

  • 100% Main Ranch


  • August 17–September 17


  • 9 months (19% new) French

Barrel Fermentation

  • 69%

Malolactic Fermentation

  • 8%


  • 13.4% by volume

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The Vintage

Much of our winter rain came late, with almost 12 inches in March alone. With a very warm spring, the vines were running about three weeks early heading into the summer months. July and August were cooler than average, with foggy mornings, mild sunny afternoons and no severe heat spells. Vineyard temperatures rose again in September and harvest dates were early by about two weeks. The heat in the spring and again in the fall provided welcome bookends to the mild summer. The grapes benefited from increased hang time and showed fantastic character development.

The Wine

The nose opens with bursts of green apple, toasted brioche, honeysuckle and lemon cream pie. The palate is full yet bright, offering a pleasant viscosity and subtle notes of clove and tropical fruit. The clean finish adds an exclamation point with elegance.

Food Affinities

The perfect balance of body and acidity makes this an ideal food wine. Recipe ingredients which complement the wine are almonds, hazelnuts, tarragon, lime zest and lemon thyme. Restrained use of mild mustard is also a good match. Serve with seafood or lighter meats.


94 POINTS (v. 2016)
Wine Enthusiast August 2018

90 POINTS (v. 2016)
Wine & Spirits August 2018

93 POINTS (v. 2016)
Anthony Dias Blue, Blue Lifestyle February 2018

92 POINTS (v. 2016)
Wine Review Online ~ #1 Chardonnay in Flight April 2018

94 POINTS (v. 2016)
Wine Review Online January 2018

PLATINUM (v. 2016)
Winemaker Challenge International
Wine Competition
January 2018

90 POINTS (v. 2015)
Robert Parker, Wine Advocate December 2016

Wine & Spirits Resaurant Poll April 2017

92 POINTS ~ Editors' Choice (v. 2013)
Wine Enthusiast December 2015

91 POINTS ~ Top 10 Chardonnays to try
(v. 2013)
Decanter June 2015


Trefethen Family Vineyards
Trefethen Family Vineyards