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The 2021 Matthews Reserve Merlot is comprised of several vineyard parcels within the greater Columbia Valley. Key sites are from Conner Lee vineyard and Red Mountain AVA as well as Royal Slope AVA, allowing this wine to truly represent the broad flavor and aromatic expressions of Merlot 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 a sense of freshness in the wine while continuing flavor development. Hand-harvesting took place in the early mornings in October.

At the winery, the fruit was cluster sorted, destemmed and berry sorted. The wine spent 30+ days on skins for extended maceration before being barreled down into varying formats of 100% new French oak. The wine was cellared for 21 months with 16 barrels selected and carefully blended. The wine was bottled unfined and unfiltered to ensure the wine in bottle is pure, vibrant, and intense. The following clones were included in the final wine: Merlot 3, Cabernet Sauvignon 8, and Cabernet Franc 1, producing only 394 cases.


Columbia Valley


75% Merlot, 19% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Cabernet Franc








"The enchanting 2021 Reserve Merlot from Matthews merges 75% Merlot, 19% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 6% Cabernet Franc for a total of 21 months in 100% new French oak. A brooding dark purple core with a light red rim in the glass delivers a more elegant and polished tone over the tongue. Mountain blueberries, red cherries, mountain sage, vanilla, scorched herbs, and wet earth, with hints of tobacco leaf, jump on the nose and on the palate. Sweet, silky tannins, a rounded mouthfeel, and lemony acidity complete the wine. 394 cases made. Highly recommended."

- 96 points, Jeremy Young, International Wine Report

"One of the finest wines of its kind in the state, the incredible new 2021 Matthews ‘Reserve’ Merlot is soft and refined on the mouth with a seamless texture. This weightless beauty displays great elegance and weight, with mouth-watering acidity holding everything neatly together. Light tannins combine with shades of Turkish coffee, freshly tilled salty soils, violets and lighter green herbal nuances on the palate. This quite literally glides throughout the drinking experience as it is already showing beautifully — and is sure to live on for at least another fifteen years. Give this an hour in the decanter if enjoying in its bold youth. Drink 2023-2038."

-96 points, Owen Bargreen,

"The woodland-inspired 2021 Merlot Reserve wafts up with a blend of wild berries, rubbed sage and cedary spice. This is pure elegance - seamlessly silky and polished, with depths of dark red fruit underscored by saline minerals and a savory herbal thrust. This tapers off with a dark floral perfume and hints of steeped plum, leaving a saturation of fine tannins, while maintaining a lovely freshness. The 2021 needs time to come fully into focus, but I believe it will be worth the wait."

- 94 points, Eric Guido, Vinous Media

"Wild mountain blue fruits mingle with ripe blackberry and concentrated five-spice aromas. This wine is built to age with ample structure, pushing dark fruit forward with less florality, per head winemaker Alex Stewart. Spicy blue and black fruits open the palate; there's richness with finesse, chicory spice, black liquorice, and black pepper, which play well with the acidity to finish. Drinking Window: 2024 – 2035"

- 94 points, Clive Pursehouse, Decanter

"Dark raspberry and black currant aromas drifting into cassis territory unite with interesting bursts of chocolate ganache and paprika. The wine’s black cherry sorbet and clove flavors explode on the palate, with a touch of black coffee hiding in the background. A massive wall of tannins dwarfs the wine’s modest acidity."

- 92 points, Michael Alberty, Wine Enthusiast

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