Style: Dry, Fruity, Medium Bodied
Matthiasson White Wine Napa Valley ’18
The blend is roughly 50 % Sauvignon Blanc, 25 % Ribolla Gialla, 20 % Semillon, and 5 % Tocai Friulano.
The Sauvignon Blanc brings a clean fresh citrusy acidity and some tropical character. The Ribolla Gialla brings seashell minerality, nuttiness, and structure to the blend. The Semillon contributes viscosity and waxiness that adds gravity and weight. The Tocai Friulano adds spicy aromatic notes. The acidity and fruit expression is balanced by a rich lees character and a faint backdrop of creamy oak. There is interplay in the wine between lightness and richness, and focus and complexity.
The 2018 White Wine has its trademark spice and mineral quality, and the perfect season helped the wine deliver plenty of acidity and freshness. Trademark flavors include white peach, kafir lime, lychee nut, beeswax, ripe fig, and pineapple, with prominent wet stones, flint, oyster shells, and freshly baled straw.
The fruit was very lightly whole-cluster-pressed. All four varieties were blended immediately upon dryness, racked and returned onto the lees for aging until bottling. Matthiason used 15% new Boutes barrels, with no stirring. To preserve all of the acidity the wine was prevented from going through malo-lactic fermentation. After ten months of barrel aging, the wine was filtered to prevent malolactic fermentation in bottle, and then bottled. Intended to age, the White Wine is held in bottle for at least a year before release, but will reward much longer aging. The first vintage, 2005, is still going strong.
The pH is 3.26, and the alcohol is 12.1%. 666 cases produced.
The two vineyards are both in the cool and foggy southern part of the Napa Valley.
The Sauvignon blanc and Semillon come from Ryans Vineyard, which sits on a streak of alluvial gravel in the center of the valley floor, south part of Napa. It is right in the path of the daily wind current that pulls up through the valley from the San Francisco Bay towards Calistoga. Native grasses are planted under the vines to compete for moisture and nutrients and encourage the roots to forage down deep in the gravelly soil.
The Ribolla Gialla and Tocai Friulano are from the tiny Bengier Vineyard (formerly Vare) in the mouth of Napa’s Dry Creek canyon, right next to the creek. The rocky fluvial soil and cool air drainage of the canyon work perfectly with the variety. Ribolla Gialla is an extremely old variety cultivated since medieval times in the Collio region of Italy and Slovenia.
About the Winery
Matthiasson is a family endeavor, the effort of Steve and Jill Klein Matthiasson, and their two young sons. Steve & Jill both have had life-long careers in sustainable agriculture, and they apply those ideals of balance, restraint, and respect for the individual—and for the whole—to their wine.
Production at Matthiasson is simple but careful. This concept is central to the tradition of viticulture and winemaking. Respect for this tradition forms the core of their work. To that end, their hands literally touch every vine and every bottle.
Matthiasson moved to Napa in 2002. In December 2006, they took their wine plans another step forward and bought a small parcel tucked behind a subdivision just west of the city of Napa. They began replanting the property’s 3 1/2 acres of vineyard to an initial lot of Ribolla Gialla – traced back to Josko Gravner’s vineyard in Friuli — Merlot, Refosco, and Cabernet Sauvignon. In 2009 Matthiasson had the chance to plant a vineyard on the West slopes of the town of Sonoma. The Michael Mara vineyard is now one of the most sought after sights for Chardonnay in California. Steve also farms a few parcels in Napa for their signature blends.
These blends have revolutionized the idea of thinking outside the single varietal and sourcing grape varietals from their most appropriate locales up and down the Valley. Steve has also redefined the term “ripeness” in California in terms of picking wine grapes. Matthiasson currently picks 3-4 weeks before most of his neighbors. However, as each vintage moves on, there are more and more of farmers following the lead of Steve Matthiasson and following the trail that he is blazing through California
Check out more at: Matthiasson