Matthiasson has been using fruit from the Red Hen Vineyard since 2003. The site sits high on an alluvial fan in the Oak Knoll District, and its thin veneer of silty loam lies atop ten to twenty feet of cobble. The struggling vines produce concentrated berries and yield only about a ton per acre. After the vineyard sold and was to be replanted, Matthiasson convinced the owners to let him continue to farm this particular block.
The wine is plummy and perfumed, with powdery pink flowers garnished by a whiff of spearmint. The body’s smooth and supple armature of tannins and acidity carry scintillant cherry fruits and notes of toasted spices and black tea. What lingers is its persistent juiciness.
Of all of the Matthiasson wines tasted in the eight-wine flight, this is the most sunny and smiling, and, at least among reds, the wine that’s most ready now.
13.9% abv | $80 (sample) | 268 cases made
Tasted at the winery on 14 June 2016.