Trefethen Family Vineyards
2002 Library Selection Cabernet Sauvignon
Cabernet Sauvignon •Oak Knoll District
California: Napa Valley
What we say
SUPERIOR WINE ALERT:
Today’s Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is an exceptional wine with exceptional character. If you are a fan of classic Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, then this wine belongs in your collection.
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Mission Codename: Selectin’ Trefethen!
Operative: Agent White
Objective: Acquire a superb library selection from our friends at Trefethen Family Vineyards
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Trefethen Family Vineyards
Wine Subject: 2002 ‘Library Selection’ Oak Knoll District Cabernet Sauvignon
Winemaker: Zeke Neeley
Napa’s Oak Knoll District, a sub-appellation of Napa, is located just north of Napa city is known for its ideal growing conditions for Merlot, Chardonnay and especially Cabernet Sauvignon. It is also one of the most diverse wine-making regions in Napa with over 20 varietals being planted within the district. Its climate is most dominated by its proximity to San Pablo bay making it the coolest AVAs in Napa along with its fertile clay and silt loam soil most influence the grapes grown in the area.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Beautiful dark purple and almost black with a dense inky core. Along the edges the color fades ever-so-slightly to garnet-violet. When swirled, clusters of thin legs descend at varying speeds to the wine below.
Smell – Medium in intensity, this wine has a very pretty and feminine nose with aromas of red cherry, raspberry and other ripe red fruit with a very well developed notes of subtle floral rose, dried herbs, green pepper and anise. Hints of mild oak and cigar tobacco also present as this wine opens up.
Feel – This full-bodied dry wine is velvet smooth with excellent fine grained but mouth gripping tannins and well balanced acidity. A touch of minerality lingers into the finish.
Taste – Plush and supple flavors of red and black cherry, tangy cassis and other red and black berries layer over subtle and well integrated dried herbs and mild oak. A touch of cigar tobacco, spice and minerality.
Finish – Extremely clean and long, this wines ripe plush fruit and other complex flavors are supported by its perfectly structured tannins and fade gracefully, begging for another contemplative sip.
Conclusion – The 2002 Trefethen Family Vineyards ‘Library Selection’ Oak Knoll District Cabernet Sauvignon is a truly remarkable Cabernet Sauvignon from one of our operative’s most favorite wineries. Exceptional finesse and elegance in aroma and flavor with a rich and smooth texture. This wine is drinking perfectly right now and will continue to improve for years to come. While you can pair this wine with grilled meats, we enjoyed this wine all by itself.
WINEMAKER INTEL BRIEFING DOSSIER
SUBJECT: Zeke Neeley
DATE OF BIRTH: (month/year) September 1971
PLACE OF BIRTH: California
WINE EDUCATION: B.S. Biochemistry, M.S. Viticulture & Enology U.C. Davis
CALIFORNIA WINE JOB BRIEF: 3 years Bonny Doon Vineyards (Santa Cruz, CA), 2 years Schug Carneros Winery (Sonoma, CA)
WINEMAKING PHILOSOPHY: A ZEKE is part chef, part scientist, and part fermentation guidance counselor.
SIGNATURE VARIETAL: Chardonnay
CAREER HIGHLIGHT: Making wine for Trefethen Family Vineyards. . . living the dream!
* WINEMAKER INTERVIEW*
AGENT WHITE: Greetings, Zeke. We are thrilled to be showing your 2002 Trefethen Library Cabernet Sauvignon today. Thanks so much for taking some time to answer questions for our Operatives today.
ZEKE: Who’s talking? Where are you? Oh, I didn’t see you hiding behind the curtain.
WHITE: Was there a specific experience in your life that inspired your love of wine?
ZEKE: My wife and I would often go wine tasting in Napa and it was there that I developed not only a love of wine but a fascination for the process of winemaking.
WHITE: And where did you learn the most about winemaking?
ZEKE: I know that most winemakers say that they learned the most about winemaking on their first job but I learned the more in school. Winemaking was my second career and I went to graduate school not to get a degree but to learn everything that my professors knew about winemaking.
WHITE: What is your winemaking style or philosophy?
ZEKE: I’m shooting for balanced wines that accentuate the positive attributes of our estate grown fruit here in the Oak Knoll district of Napa Valley.
WHITE: What wine or winemaker has most influenced your winemaking style?
ZEKE: My predecessor here at Trefethen Family Vineyards, Peter Luthi, and the Dry Rieslings that he has made over the years. The chance to work with Peter and that fruit spurred me on to take this job.
WHITE: How long have you been making wine?
ZEKE: In reality, the yeast make the wine. We just fool them into doing what we want. I have been involved in fooling yeast for 6 vintages.
WHITE: Who do you make wine for?
ZEKE: We strive to make wines that the Trefethen family enjoys. Unfortunately, we make several thousand cases more than the family can get through in a year so we sell the excess.
WHITE: Tell me, what makes the Oak Knoll District so special?
ZEKE: The Oak Knoll District of Napa Valley is a climate sweet spot between the cooler Carneros district and the hot Rutherford district. Like Goldilock’s experience with baby bear’s porridge, we are “just right.” I find that cooler regions often result in thinner wines and warmer regions syrupy wines. This goes back to the pursuit by Trefethen Family Vineyards for balance.
WHITE: What is one piece of advice that you would give to someone that is considering a career as a winemaker?
ZEKE: If you are still passionate about wine after cleaning your hundredth steel tank, this might be the career for you.
WHITE: What is occupying your time at the winery these days?
ZEKE: We are harvesting the last of our Cabernet sauvignon and Merlot, monitoring fermentations, moving wine from tank to barrel, and beginning to make our 2009 Riesling blend.
WHITE: Please tell me a little bit about the wine we are featuring today
ZEKE: The 2002 Trefethen Library Cabernet sauvignon is a beautiful wine just hitting its peak. With a full velvety palate and soft tannins accentuating the spicy jammy fruit, this wine is sure to please any lover of Napa Cabernet sauvignon.
WHITE: What is your favorite pairing with today’s wine?
ZEKE: The 2002 Trefethen Library Cabernet sauvignon pairs beautifully with strong flavored cuts of meat from duck and pheasant to pork loin.
WHITE: Please share one thing about yourself that few people know
ZEKE: I’m Batman.
WHITE:What is your favorite ‘everyday’ or table wine?
ZEKE: The 2007 Double T Red wine is always well stocked at my house.
WHITE: How would you recommend that people approach your wines, or wine in general?
ZEKE: Drink what you like and don’t be afraid to explore your local wine shop. Be adventurous and don’t let your preconceptions keep you from trying a wine.
WHITE: If you could choose any one wine to drink (regardless of price or availability), what would it be?
ZEKE: If I am disregarding price and availability, I would also like to disregard the space-time continuum and travel back 130 years to taste the Bordeaux of long ago.
WHITE: What is the one question that I should have asked you, and what is your answer to that question?
ZEKE: What is my favorite color? It is green.
WHITE: Thank you so much for your time. We learned a lot about you – and about your wine. Keep up the great work, we are big fans!
ZEKE: This interview will self-destruct in 5. . . 4 . . . 3 . . . 2 . . .
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The location of the Trefethen Family Vineyards can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the winery says
About This Wine:
Our Library Selection Cabernet Sauvignon is a blend of grapes from hillside and valley floor sections of our two southern Napa Valley estate vineyards. Planted in very dry, rocky soils, the hillside vines yield wines with intense, spicy fruit aromas and flavors, while the valley floor vines, in richer, alluvial soils, produce wines with bright fruit and a velvety texture.
The Vintage: The growing season was a wild ride of heat spikes, followed by cool temperatures and fluctuations, which peaked dramatically at several times during the critical grape maturation period. Grape sugars shot up at phenomenal speed as harvest neared. The temperatures eventually leveled-off and a welcome balance of acid and sugar was achieved in time for picking.
The Wine: Rich and luscious on the nose with aromas of roasted chiles, black cherry, and a hint of rosemary. A velvety texture on the mouth with cherries, black currant, and dried cherry cassis and a complexity that you only get from bottle age. A very pretty wine.
Food Affinities: The wine Beef Wellington’s mother dreamed of for her son! Bold yet impeccably bred, it brings out the best in beef ribeyes, rack of lamb, game and meaty fishes. Thyme, peppercorns and caramelized onions are wonderful, complimentary flavors.
In 1968, our family purchased seven farms surrounding a magnificent, but run-down, 19th-century winery in southern Napa Valley and created Trefethen Family Vineyards. At the time, there were fewer than 30 working wineries in Napa Valley. True to our original vision of creating a classic wine estate, we have never purchased a single outside grape. Instead, we lavish extraordinary care on our two sustainably farmed estate vineyards in the Oak Knoll District of Napa Valley. Controlling all viticultural practices allows us to produce grapes with pure, intense flavors beautifully reflecting our unique terroir.
Varietals: 86% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Merlot, 1% Malbec, 1% Petit Verdot
Appellation: Oak Knoll District
Vineyard: Winery Estate
Harvest: Sept. 12–Oct. 15, 2002
Oak: 17 months in French & American Oak
Alcohol: 14.1% by volume
Bottled: May 2004