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by Fred McMillin
for June 3, 1997

Now Available at the Library

Prologue Many appealing young Chardonnays lose their intensity a year or two after their release because grape yields were too high. Hence, the wines lack the richness and depth needed to age successfully...from James Laube's excellent "California Wine"

The Rest of the Story: Gene Trefethen's first harvest in 1968 included Chardonnay. Before long, the winery figured out how to produce the "richness and depth" needed for aging. Consequently, they started setting aside a portion of their production for additional time in the cellar. It would be released for sale a few years later as a Library Selection. The public liked the way time adds new aromas, converts acidity to complexity, changes light yellow to light gold, etc. If you want to see and taste the grace of aging, phone the "Library" at (707) 255-7700. The 1990 model is classy and now available.

1990 Chardonnay, Library Selection, Napa Valley
Trefethen Vineyards
Napa, CA
$35

Category: Highly Recommended particularly for those who wish to learn more about the most important white wine grape in the world.

Postscript: An elegant wine deserves an elegant dish. Here's one.

On June 14, 1800 Napoleon Bonaparte defeated the Austrians at Marengo in what today is northwestern Italy. To celebrate the victory, his master-chef Dunand created a dish from foraged ingredients. My wife and I visited Marengo to learn more about the origins of what's known today as "Chicken Marengo." The archives also covered the veal version that evolved later. That's the recommendation for today's wine, Veal Marengo, along with a toast to Chef Dunand who started it all.


About the Writer

Fred McMillin, a veteran wine writer, has taught wine history for 30 years on three continents. He currently teaches wine courses at San Francisco State and San Francisco City College and is Northern California Editor for American Wine on the Web. In 1995, the Academy of Wine Communications honored Fred with one of only 22 Certificates of Commendation awarded to American wine writers.


Read more articles by Fred McMillin in the eGGsf

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