The 2021 Matthews Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon is comprised of several vineyard parcels within the greater Columbia Valley. Key sites are from Horse Heaven Hills, Royal Slope, and Red Mountain as well as Conner Lee vineyard. This wine truly represents the broad flavor and aromatic expressions of Bordeaux varietals from the diverse terroirs of Washington State. The winemaking team worked with vineyard managers to restrict yields, creating small, concentrated berries. Cool fall nights preserved freshness in the wine while continuing flavor development. Hand-harvesting took place in the early mornings in October.
Once arriving at the winery, the fruit was cluster-sorted, de-stemmed, and berry-sorted. The grapes were placed in tank and cold soaked for two days, before a 14-day fermentation along with 14 extra days of extended maceration, making it a total of 32 days in tank for maximum extraction. The free run wine was barreled down into varying formats of 100% new French oak and cellared for 21 months. In the Spring of 2023, 73 carefully selected barrels were blended and in July 2023 bottled (unfined and unfiltered), producing only 1,872 cases.
Six separate clones were included in the final blend (Cabernet Sauvignon: 2, 4, 6, 8, 21, 191).
Incredibly saturated and inky crimson in the glass, the 2021 Matthews Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon is harmonious and intense. Dark berry compote, leather, and powdery mint flower aromatics are accented with dusty minerality and fresh fruit leather. The palate explodes with black cap raspberry, blueberry, graphite, sage, and black forest cake. The dense, full-body imparts a coat of ripe tannins, yet exudes class and balance. Decadent dark plum, vanilla bean paste, five spice, and cocoa linger throughout the minutes-long finish.
Red Wine Braised Beef Shanks
"The blockbuster 2021 Matthews ‘Reserve’ Cabernet Sauvignon is a world-class effort that is already drinking beautifully at the two-year mark. Once on the nose this offers a massive wall of black and blue fruits that are complimented by graphite and tilled soil accents. The palate comes off balanced and well-poised, with firm tannins holding everything in place. Turkish coffee grounds and creme de cassis notes mingle well with dried sage and shades of Black Forest Cake on the palate. If enjoying now, be sure to give this at least an hour in the decanter. Drink 2023-2038."
-96 points, Owen Bargreen, owenbargreen.com