Saturday, October 30, 2021

Halloween eve dinner with Dragon's Tooth Red Blend

Halloween eve dinner with Dragon's Tooth Napa Valley Red Bordeaux Blend 2009

Halloween wine? Well, no there isn't any such thing that I know of, but the closest I could come up with in our cellar was Dragon's Tooth Red Blend by Trefethen. We selected this from our cellar to take BYOB to dinner at Angeli's Italian, our favorite neighborhood trattoria.

R&L in the Trefethen
estate gardens
We discovered and acquired this wine during our visit to the Trefethen winery estate in the Oak Knoll District Appellation of southern Napa Valley, along St. Helena highway, just above the town of Napa. 

The Red Dragon on the label of this Dragon's Tooth Napa Valley Red Wine originated in ancient Welsh ancestry of the proprietors. 

According to British legend, two dragons, one red, one white, fight in the sky. The boy Merlin watches them with King Vortigern and when the red prevails, driving the white across the sea, the boy foretells the coming of King Arthur who will lead Vortigern's people, the Welsh, to victory over the invading Saxons.

Catherine Trefethen, Matriarch, First Lady of the Trefethen estate family, was Welsh. Her loves for wine, gardens and family were the inspiration for the estate in Napa Valley's Oak Knoll District. Although she has departed, her spirit is said to be still felt, especially in the cool foggy mornings when mist envelops the vineyards. 

This label showcases the newest plantings of Malbec and Petit Verdot of the rockiest part of the estate vineyard where obsidian flakes occasionally remind one of the toothy smile of Y Ddraig Goch (The Red Dragon) guardian and symbol of Wales. 


Trefethen Dragons Tooth Napa Valley Red Wine 2009

The 2009 Vintage release of this label was a Bordeaux Blend of 67% Malbec, 18% Petit Verdot, 11% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 4% Merlot, all 100% sourced from the Trefethen Oak Knoll District Appellation, Napa Valley Estate Vineyard.

It was aged 21 months in 67% French 20% American 13% Hungarian oak. 

Winemaker's Notes: "The Vintage 2009 was an excellent, even-keeled vintage in Napa Valley. Consistently mild weather throughout the growing and harvest seasons resulted in stress-free vines, long grape hang times, and fruit with finely developed flavors at lower-than-normal sugar levels. The third vintage of this lively wine is deep purple in color with aromas of black currant, blackberry and cinnamon. The palate is full with flavors of plum, cherry and chocolate. This voluminous wine finishes with balanced, structured tannins that emphasize the rich fresh fruit and hints of spice. Food Affinities The addition of some blackberries or blueberries to smoky grilled or roasted beef, lamb, pork or duck brings out the best in both food and the wine."

Trefethen Dragon's Tooth 2011 labels

This wine has been sitting in our cellar for a decade, waiting for the right occasion for this peculiar label. It was ideal this evening, so much so, I ran out the next day and picked up the current release vintage of this label to replace the one we drank. I had forgotten this was a Bordeaux Blend, noting the prime anchor varietal is Malbec.  

This label was awarded 93 points by Wine Enthusiast.

This was the third vintage of this distinctive blend, medium-full bodied, deep purple in color with aromas and flavors of black currant, blackberry and cinnamon turning to tones of plum, cherry and mocha and hints of spice, finishing with nicely balanced but structured tangy acidic laced tannins.

Wine Enthusiast wrote, "This is so smooth, rich and mellow, you hardly notice how intense the tannins are. But they are hard, and lock down the flavors of black currant and black licorice, plus the complex notes of minerals, roasted game and dark spices."

RM 90 points.