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Trefethen Dragon’s Tooth 2017

Built in 1886, John and Janet Trefethen began restoring what is today the Trefethen winery in 1973. A national historic landmark and the only wooden gravity-flow winery in the Napa Valley, Trefethen is also one of Napa’s largest estate wineries, with its 600 acres of vineyards surrounding the winery. The Trefethen family creates Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Riesling as well as limited quantities of Library Selection Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon.

2017 saw record-breaking winter rains that 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. Yields for the season were slightly lower than average and the resulting wines are classic—with complex flavors and their signature brightness on the palate.

The blend consists of 54% Malbec, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Petit Verdot, and 5% Merlot. Harvest took place mid-September through mid-October with fermentation and aging for 18 months in barrel; 50% of which were new oak. The wine is rich, yet fresh and bright. The nose features intense aromas of dark brambly fruit and layers of cinnamon, violet, and vanilla. Balanced and supple on the palate, the finish is mouthwateringly smooth. Dragon‘s Tooth would do well with slow-cooked peppers and tomatoes for the deep richness that complements this wine perfectly. Leaner cuts of beef like flank or skirt steak are ideal with this offering.

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