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Young wine regions sometimes struggle to find their identity, but with the Matthews Claret, we’re showing that Washington can present classic wines that resonate in any market. This widely loved red is a Bordeaux-style blend of Cabernet, Merlot, and Cab Franc, rounded out with a touch of Malbec and Petit Verdot—classic Bordeaux varietals that thrive here in Washington. The Claret has become a “go-to” wine for many people, the kind of bottle that pairs equally well with an opulent night out or burgers in the backyard. Our unique access to amazing vineyard sites and a state-of-the-art facility allows us to produce this boutique quality wine at a more accessible scale and deliver a tremendous wine to our fans.

Tasting Notes

Exotically perfumed with floral red fruits like raspberry puree and red currants mixed with sweet strawberry and crème brulee. Swirling releases rich blackberry, currants and plums with a hint of vanilla bean spice. The palate is thick and sweetly rich with perfect balance and long graceful finish. The 2012 was powerfully ripe and very Cabernet driven, this is all about grace and texture.

Food Pairing Recommendations

Big fruit balanced with great tannins and acidity make the Claret is a wonderful and versatile food wine. It pairs well with steak, lamb and gamier meats like venison. It loves a pasta, a shepherd’s pie or a hearty stew. It’s a great compliment to chicken, duck, and even rich fish like salmon or tuna. It’s great for a group that includes aficionados and novice wine drinkers, or a dinner party with friends who you don’t need to impress but want to anyway. It’s the perfect thing to reach for on a Friday night out or on a Tuesday, when you really just feel like crackers and good cheese for dinner and a little dark chocolate for dessert.

Varietal Composition

54% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Cabernet Franc, 10% Merlot, 5% Syrah, 3% Malbec, 3% Petit Verdot



Cases Produced




Awards & Accolades

"Firm and focused, with crinkly tannins around a sleek core of blackberry, currant and plum flavors that keep singing on the expressive finish. This has room to grow. Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Malbec and Petit Verdot. Drink now through 2022. 2,129 cases made."

-#27 on top 100 list, 93 points, Harvey Steinman, Wine Spectator

"Readers looking for a longer-term prospect should check out the 2013 Claret (57% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Cabernet Franc, 11% Merlot and the rest Malbec and Petit Verdot), which is firm, concentrated and structured; it has plenty of oak in its tobacco leaf, incense, and crème de cassis aromas and flavors. Give this full-bodied 2013 about 5-6 years of cellaring and drink over the following decade."

92+ points, Jeb Dunnuck, The Wine Advocate

"This wine is a blend of 57% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Cabernet Franc, 11% Merlot, 3% Malbec and 3% Petit Verdot. It opens with intriguing aromas of graphite, cherry, barrel spice, garden herbs, coffee grounds and dark fruit. The flavors are pitch black and generous, showing density and layering."

91 points, Sean Sullivan, Wine Enthusiast

"Bright, deep ruby-red. Perfumed, oaky aromas of blackberry, licorice, violet, dark chocolate and graphite minerality. Plush, fine-grained and moderately sweet in the mouth, with the dark berry flavors lifted by enticing floral perfume and nicely framed by sound acidity for the year. Really builds subtly on the long, smooth, savory back end, which features suave, building tannins and lingering black fruits."

90 points, Stephen Tanzer, Vinous


Red Mountain

Map Red Mountain 3 2
2,382 acres (963 hectares)
Top Varieties
Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc
Average Annual Precipitation
5 inches
Silt, sand, volcanic basalt
Average vine age
Learn More

Past VintagesExplore the Claret Vintages

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