The Cowgirl and The Pilot Merlot 2017

$0 / Bottle (750ml)

A tribute to Janet & John Trefethen and their incredible love story.

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A tribute to Janet & John Trefethen and their incredible love story.


  • James Suckling 93


In 1973, in a quiet agricultural valley north of San Francisco, a young Navy veteran and a former California rodeo queen fell in love over a bottle of wine. Their love blossomed and while she kept riding and he kept flying, together they built a winery and a family, helping to shape the Napa Valley and the American fine wine industry along the way. Crafted from the finest lots of Merlot from our estate vineyards, this wine is our tribute to them, Napa pioneers: Janet and John Trefethen.

The Vintage

Record-breaking winter rains filled our reservoirs and recharged the soil. Spring and early summer were warm, leading to very strong growth in the vines. The rest of the summer was more typical with warm days and cool nights, providing perfect conditions for the developing grapes. Our yields for the season were slightly lower than average and the resulting wines are classic—with complex flavors and our signature brightness on the palate.

The Wine

This Merlot opens with aromas of dark fruits and delicate floral notes. Flavors of dark cherry and plum fill the mouth, joined by undertones of cassis and cocoa. The elegant tannin structure lends weight and supports a lengthy finish.

Food Affinities

Winery Chef Chris Kennedy suggests pairing this Merlot with warm Shiitake mushrooms or roasted meats. For a unique pairing, try with our Bittersweet Chocolate Chili Pepper Truffle recipe.

Download Tasting Notes

Bittersweet Chocolate Chili Pepper Truffle

See Recipe


James Suckling
“An attractive merlot with green-olive, hazelnut, plum and coffee-bean aromas and flavors. It’s full-to medium-bodied with a firm texture and a savory finish.” – January 2021