Matthews Cellars Winery, located in Woodinville, Washington, produces very limited production Bordeaux-styled red wines blended from selected Yakima Valley vineyards.Until this year, the winery made such miniscule amounts of wine that its wines have stayed a regional cult favorite. Featured on the wine lists of Seattle's best restaurants, the Yakima Red is particularly highly sought after in Washington State.
Matthews Cellars resides on an eight-acre estate looking southwest towards majestic Mount Rainier. The Fall of 2000 brought annual production to three thousand cases. Each year two wines are produced, and in exceptional vintages, a reserve or vineyard designate may be bottled. Production is scheduled to remain at this level for some time, while the long-term goal is to reach a maximum of six thousand cases per vintage.
The estate includes a three thousand square-foot home overlooking the valley and winery. Adding to the serene landscape, a natural stream flows from the upper region of the estate, flowing through a pond before wrapping around the winery.
In the near future, caves will be
constructed on the estate. Their primary function will provide natural
temperature and humidity controlled barrel storage. The caves will also
house a dinning facility for private entertaining and wine events. In
the long term they will house all the barrels, enabling the winery to
expand production while utilizing the existing winery for crushing and
case good storage only.
Matthew Loso and Tim Stevens
The winery says: "Since 1993
Matthews Cellars has endeavored to produce the highest quality Bordeaux
style red wine by utilizing grapes grown in the finest vineyards of the
Yakima Valley. Our winemaker Matthew Loso has spent many years locating
and contracting with the most unique vineyards that consistently form
a single wine of world class quality. "
Some Reviews culled from the web:
From a Cab tasting in CA, December 99:
"'97 Matthews Cellars - Yakima Valley, WA. $44.99. Medium-dark garnet ruby color. Nose of sweet black cherry, cassis, floral aromas and oak. The Merlot and Cab Franc really come through in the nose (18% Merlot, 11% CF). Sweet toasty taste, good concentration and mouthfeel, medium-long finish, smooth and seamless, with obvious tannins. Aroma score: A Taste score: A- Overall score: A-"
This is a winery that is breaking onto the national scene, with recent mentions in Food and Wine, high ratings from reviewers, and larger production making the wines more available.
Every year Matthews Cellars produces a red and a white wine. The red is a Bordeaux style blend consisting of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc. The white wine is 100% Semillon from the Elerding Vineyard in Yakima Valley. In exceptional vintages, the winery also makes a reserve wine.
Most would argue that a northern facing slope could never get the sun or heat needed to bring the grapes to full maturity. This particular vineyard is located on a unique parcel of land with its own distinct microclimate, which has continuously produced fruit with perfect balance from the vine to the bottle. Moreover, this vineyard has never failed to produce a crop, even following the freeze of 95-96.
Over the duration of the ripening new vintage, winemaker Matthew Loso keeps a close eye on all aspects of the developing fruit. Weekly lab analysis and sensory evaluation provide a preview of each vineyards potential contribution to the final blend. On a rare occasion and under perfect circumstances, a single lot or even a specific area of a vineyard may produce wine grapes with such perfect balance that the winemaker will call for it to be reserved for a separate bottling as a Vineyard Designate. This is the case for the 98 Elerding Vineyard Cab.
Harvested on October 5th, the grapes were hand-sorted
and crushed into small a fermenter. Then, following a three-day cold
maceration, yeast was introduced which began a 10-day fermentation.
Slightly prior to the must completing fermentation the free run was drained
and the remaining skins were pressed directly into new French oak barrels.
Following 18 months of aging, racking and minimal handling the wine was
bottled un-fined and un-filtered.
Yow! This wine is right up there with Leonetti! Reminds me of Silver Oak with the addition of a twist of the Northwest and a pinch of Bordeaux. Inky dark ruby in the glass, layers and layers of fruit and oak in the nose, and ripe, rich flavors of exotic spices, blueberry, plush black cherry, cassis, and cedar. Could use cellaring for 2-5 years for maximum flavor, but drinks beautifully now with a few hours to breathe
The winemaker says: " At first look, the 1997 harvest appeared to be an average one. As ripening progressed, our top vineyards started showing tremendous potential. Harvest began on September 29th with Red Mountain Vineyards and ended November 11th with our upper valley sites. This lengthy ripening period gave great depth and color to the finished wine with an amazing amount of complexity from what started as an average vintage. Even before this wine was allowed to spend time in new French oak barrels, it showed good balance and richness. It is perfectly suited to be our finest vintage to date."
had this to say about the 96 Yakima Valley Red:
The Conoisseur's Handbook says: "Moving into the high-rent district oppupied by Ste. Michelle, Columbia Winery, and DeLille Estate, Matthew Loso is hoping to make a name for himself as a red wine specialist. A Bordeaux blend is his primary interest, with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot offered in tiny quantities. Matthews remains a winery to watch"
Release date: August 1, 1999. Blend: 71% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Merlot, 11% Cabernet Franc Total production: 1,400 cases & 300 magnums Vineyards: Elerding, Portteus, Hedges Red Mountain, Ciel du Cheval, Carter and Sunnyside Barrel type: 100% new French oak pH: 3.71 Time in barrels: 18 months Alcohol: 13.8% by volume Fining: No fining or filtration used Total acidity: .63 g. / 100ml. Bottling date: Tuesday, April 13, 1999 Free sulfur dioxide: 20 ppm Matthews Cellars
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