A profile of Steve Matthiasson, photo from T. Edwards Wines.com

Matthiasson Wines

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The wines of Steve and Jill Matthiasson are as steadfast and unassuming as the couple themselves. Steve is a bit of a legend in California, having co-authored the California manual on sustainable vineyard practices in 1999, and consulted for or mentored many successful winegrowers since. Jill, who runs the business side, has also dedicated her time to encouraging others to follow in their path of sustainable farming, and she created the "farmer to farmer" network in in the early 1990's. Their mission has always been as farmers first, believing wholeheartedly that "wine is made in the vineyard." Based in the Napa Valley, each vineyard they work with is farmed organically, either certified or transitioning for certification.

A view of the Harms Vineyard.

One look at these rows and you can see their careful preservation of topsoil and biodiversity (a stark contrast to more conventionally farmed Napa vineyards). The effects of climate change have been devastating in California; drought, wildfires, extreme temperatures, to name a few. The effects of the wildfires this year will be felt for years to come. It is no longer enough to just reduce the harm being done, but actively work to repair it; something that the Matthiassons work hard to accomplish through 'regenerative farming.' Without government intervention there is a serious urgency to convince farmers to make changes on their own, which is why it's so important to see well-respected winemakers in our country's most famous wine region championing the cause, and creating beautiful wines to back it up.

Today we're offering three of our favorites from the Matthiasson line-up, and despite their high-quality and costly, labor-intensive farming practices, these wines are all a wonderful value. The Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, a blend from six vineyards, is by far one of my favorite examples of its kind. Like all of their wines, this bottle is perfectly representative of Napa, while remaining restrained, unencumbered, and precisely balanced. The small percentage of new oak is well integrated, the alcohol kept low with earlier picking, and the impeccably farmed fruit gives this wine complexity and the promise of a long life in the cellar.  

If you're looking for an introduction to their work, or you need a new go-to for weeknight dinners, or nights on the fire-escape with friends, the Tendu Red and Village Chardonnay No. 1 are excellent choices. Anyone who came into the store asking for a no-sulfur, natural wine that was also a crowd-pleaser, I introduced to Tendu! This is a lovely blend of Montepulciano, Aglianico, and Barbera with soft, powdery tannins, juicy red and purple fruits, making this easy to enjoy with or without dinner. Steve's work in the vineyard and the cellar lead to this being a consistently clean, classic expression, lacking any 'funkiness' that sometimes presents itself in wines made without preservatives.  

The Linda Vista Vineyard, source of most of the Village Chardonnay Blend

The Village Chardonnay was an instant hit with the staff at Chambers Street! We always expect a solid showing from any Matthiasson wine, but at this price, we had no idea Napa Chardonnay could be this good, or this vibrant! Unoaked, elegant, and downright delicious.  

For those looking for something really special, we also have available a handful of bottles of Matthiasson Sweet Vermouth based with a blend of Flora, a fascinating cross between Semillon and Gewurztraminer, and Muscat of Alexandria. Though they work hard to farm all of the fruit they use themselves, they couldn't resist the organically farmed Flora of the Yount Mill Vineyard, which seemed perfect for the creation of fortified wine. 

Michelle DeWyngaert

 

**Wines arriving 9/10, please expect delivery or pick-up available after this date**

Matthiasson 2016 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

Dollar per ounce this is one of the best values for Napa Valley fruit that you can find! Steve Matthiasson is a dedicated organic farmer and low-intervention winemaker. This is old-school California Cabernet Sauvignon at its finest. The blend for 2016 is from six different Napa vineyards; 85-90% Cabernet Sauvignon with a small percentage of Petit Verdot, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc. The wine is gently extracted with minimal pump-overs and fermented at a low temperatures. It is aged for 20 months in mostly used and less than 20% new French oak which adds just a touch of baking spice to the aroma and a silky texture to the tannins. This wine has a beautiful nose of freshly cut cedar, ripe purple plums, a touch of graphite and black tea, and the palate brings just a squeeze of lemon, fresh potting soil, savory herbs and raspberry. All signs lead to this being incredibly age worthy, but if you can't wait to open it, I recommend decanting for at least an hour. Michelle DeWyngaert

  • red
  • 5 in stock
  • $74.99

  • Organic
  • Low Sulfur

Matthiasson 2019 Napa Valley Village Chardonnay No.1

The Village collection from Matthiasson is a blend of lots that were left out of the more serious cuvées and fruit from some of the younger vines, but all are from organically farmed Napa Valley vineyards. This is a Chardonnay in its purest form; no new oak, no lees stirring or racking, and only two-fifths go through malolactic-fermentation. By picking the grapes at various times throughout the harvest season, they have created a balance of ripeness in the wine. On the nose are notes of lemon balm, sea spray, yellow apple, and white peach. The palate brings Meyer lemon, fresh yogurt, crisp, slightly under-ripe pineapple, and river rocks. I was so pleasantly surprised by the stoniness and freshness of this wine! Michelle DeWyngaert

  • white
  • 19 in stock
  • $18.99

  • Organic
  • Low Sulfur

Matthiasson NV Napa Valley No. 4 Sweet Vermouth

Made from a blend of Flora, a cross between Semillon and Gewurztraminer, from the Yount Mill Vineyard and Muscat of Alexandria. This vermouth is only made every few years as it is a blend of the previous few vintages for a mix of fresh and dried fruit aromas, which are added to an infusion of home-grown cardoons, blood oranges, sour cherries, as well as purchased chinchona bark, blessed thistle, and coriander. This is a rare treat that of course would enhance a classic Negroni or Manhattan, but I might rather just sip on it. Michelle DeWyngaert  

  • vermouth
  • 3 in stock
  • no discount
  • $42.99

  • Organic
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Matthiasson 2018 Napa Valley Red Wine "Tendu"

This is the ultimate bistro wine! Pour yourself a glass, close your eyes, and you're suddenly in a little French, or perhaps based on this blend, Italian bistro. This years "Tendu" is 47% Aglianco, 42% Montepulciano, and 11% Barbera from the Windmill Vineyard in the Dunnigan Hills AVA. Fermented in stainless steel, aged in neutral barrels, and then bottled with no additives and no sulfur, just pure, juicy goodness. Super pretty on the nose with violets, dried and fresh raspberry and purple plum. On the palate is a just the right balance of acidity, structure, and concentration with a dark, rocky finish. This is will be an excellent pairing for a wide range of savory fare from burgers, to stews, to roasted veggies! Michelle DeWyngaert

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $19.99

  • Organic
  • No Sulfur