Wine of the Week: 2018 Trefethen Oak Knoll District Chardonnay

At long last, Dungeness crab season has opened in Northern California, and I can hardly wait to crack open one of the large crustaceans. In a normal year, we get a big crew together, spread out newspapers and gorge ourselves. Obviously, that won’t be the drill this year. But since I’m not providing wine for a crowd, I can splurge a little more on a great bottle.

My usual pick is chardonnay, and the 2018 Trefethen Chardonnay ($38) from the Oak Knoll District of Napa Valley is just about the perfect bottle to drink with a meaty Dungeness crab served with lemon and melted butter. It’s rich enough to complement the crab, with plenty of racy Meyer lemon and grapefruit to cut through the butter. There’s a long, mouthwatering finish. “A lot of energy,” my tasting notes say.

It’s been my privilege over the years to taste a number of older Trefethen chardonnays, some of them more than 20 years old. Although the style has been tweaked some since the early days, with some barrel fermentation and just a bit of malolactic fermentation, I expect that this chardonnay will age really well — if that’s important to you. It sure is delicious now.