In a sense I feel like the old Aesop Fable “The Ant and the Grasshopper” when it comes to finding wines that were laid to rest years ago. I have been writing about wines that I have discovered in the cellar and so far, only two have been passed their prime and they have both been white wines. I have slowly, but surely been methodical about trying to rearrange the wines in the cellar and moving the whites up to a wine vault in the family room, in hopes that the whites won’t be lost again, but I do keep finding stray bottles and if you are like me, you tell yourself that you will remember putting a wine in a certain spot, even with a neck tag on it, so it won’t get lost. I am only mortal. Also, in the early days there might have been discussions that a certain wine is too nice for the moment and it gets forgotten about for another time period. It seemed that it was forever, before we could go out to eat, by mandate and we ate every meal at home. There was nothing wrong with that, as my Bride is an excellent cook, but I still miss the ambience of dining out, especially with friends; and for awhile that was another mandated no-no. I am still finding some fun stuff, even after five or is it six months that this has been going on.
The two reds that I am going to discuss I actually found mixed in with some white wines in the main structure in the cellar, and rather than let them get misplaced or lost again, I brought them up, knowing that we would be needing some red wines. The first wine is Trefethen Family Vineyards Double T Red Wine Napa Valley 2007. Trefethen Family Vineyards is located in the Oak Knoll region of Napa Valley and they produce a good selection of wines all from their estate from a Dry Riesling to their flagship Halo Cabernet Sauvignon. Eugene and Catherine Trefethen moved to Napa Valley after his retirement in 1968 from the construction industry. At that time there were less than twenty wineries in the valley and some had been neglected since the last big “Nanny State” mandate called Prohibition. They purchased six farms, including the 19th century Eschol Winery with the intention of selling the grapes to other producers; their son John had a different idea and the first commercial vintage was in 1973. The Oak Knoll District of Napa Valley AVA covers 8300 acres of the valley floor and received the recognition after a slow up-hill battle for the vineyards in 2004. The area was originally planted with vineyards during the Gold Rush days of the 1850’s. The recognition is because the area is much cooler compared to the other parts of the valley and the growing season can actually extend for sometimes up to eight months. Double T is named for the quadrilateral cordon trellis, commonly called the “Double T” and it is also a nod to the generations of the Trefethen family that has worked to build the vineyard and winery. The wine is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. The wine is aged for fifteen months in a mix of French, American and Hungarian Oak. A lovely wine that hides under the humble name of a Red Wine that was not even showing any age for a thirteen-year-old and it was wonderful with her house made cheeseburgers with grilled onions.
The other red wine that I found was one of favorite wineries after we discovered them in our trip to Napa Valley and to boot, it is my Bride’s favorite grape to this day. We had a bottle of Peju Province Winery Cabernet Franc Napa Valley 1996 and all we could wonder is why didn’t we buy this wine by the cases. Peju Province Winery was founded in 1983 by Tony and Herta Peju, he originally came from Provence to California and had a very successful florist business. Peju is located in Rutherford, near Mondavi, Beaulieu and Inglenook. Peju has grown from the initial twenty-two acres in Rutherford, as they now own another twelve-acre vineyard in Calistoga and two vineyards in Pope Valley with an additional one-hundred-sixty acres. They also source some fruit from Sonoma and Mendocino and they offer a complete rage of wines from sparkling to dessert wines. This twenty-four-year-old was sublime for a lack of a better term. It was everything I want and expect from a Cabernet Franc, especially the long finish that says terroir to me. I don’t know if it is to everyone, but I find that Cabernet Franc expresses terroir better and easier compared to most varietals and it is even apparent in popular price examples when one can find it. So, all of the diligence of our being worker ants in the cellar, has kept us from singing to the moon during over extended lockdown period and has made it as tolerable as it can be.