Style: Dry, Medium Bodied
Matthiasson Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley ’16
In the tradition of Cabernet sauvignon, this one includes a small amount of Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, and is blended from six vineyards throughout the Napa Valley. The three AVAs are Coombsville for structure and black fruit, Rutherford for savory Cabernet characters, and Oak Knoll for bright fruit. It is a Napa Cabernet of the old school, a blended wine, age-worthy, complex, and begging for a steak off of the grill.
2016 was a mild year, warm with an early start, but never too hot. The vintage gave Steve and Jill Matthiasson an elegant Cabernet, aromatic and complex.
The fruit was fermented at low temperatures and pumped over twice per day; Matthiasson does not strive for a high rate of extraction, instead choosing to preserve the freshness and high-toned aromatics. Since the fermentation temperatures were cool, the fermentation was long and slow, lasting for three weeks. The wine was pressed at dryness, blended immediately, and aged for 20 months in a combination of mostly used and a few new barrels.
The nose shows abundant red fruits, lots of bright cherry along with bramble-berries, such as blackberry, cranberry, mulberry, and framed with hints of mineral/herbal characters such as graphite, cedar, and pencil shavings. The palate is vibrant and fresh, with light tannin and beautiful acidity. Decanting is highly recommended.
The blend is 86% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Petit Verdot, 5% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc.
Alcohol is 13.3, TA is 5.3 g/l, pH is 3.65. 1603 cases produced.
The Dead Fred Vineyard in Coombsville sits on rocky volcanic soil. It’s south-western exposure causes it to pick up heat during the day, and the proximity to the mouth of the Napa Valley keeps the nights cool. Matthiasson leased it in 2012.
The York Vineyard is in the heart of Rutherford, on the classic gravelly alluvium known to create the famous “Rutherford Dust” character. Matthiasson leased it in 2013.
The Helen’s Gate Vineyard is the home of Arthur Berliner and Marian Lever. It sits on an east-facing hill along Whitehall Lane in the Rutherford District of Napa Valley. Matthiasson planted the vines in 2009.
The Red Hen Vineyard is on rocky alluvium next to Dry Creek, in the Oak Knoll District. Cool breezes and dry rocky soil combine to create structure and ripe fruits.
The Bengier Vineyard (formerly Vare) is also on Dry Creek, in the Oak Knoll District, but on gravelly soils in the mouth of the canyon. The cool air drainage and short fall days as the sun is blocked by the redwoods result in light aromatic wine.
The Matthiasson Vineyard is on loamy alluvial soil on the west side of the Oak Knoll District, just south of the Red Hen Vineyard. It is the coolest of the vineyards, receiving morning fog and afternoon sea breezes most summer days.
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