The 2017 Matthews Claret comes from several small vineyard parcels within three AVAs: Red Mountain, Walla Walla Valley, and the Columbia Valley. Harvested by hand in the early morning between September 8th - October 31st, it was then hand-sorted and fermented in the winery using both stainless steel (70%) and concrete (30%). The free-run wine was cellared in French oak (45% new) for 18 months. Evaluated over 40 times by our winemaking team, only 81 barrels were ultimately selected to be blended, and finally bottled, on April 22nd, 2019.
Muddled ripe strawberry and raspberry puree, mixed with currants and black tea. Swirling adds sweetness, spice, vanilla bean and an intoxicating note of fresh berries and cream. The palate is ripe and showy with juicy tannins and a mouthwatering finish. Youthfully exciting while still being accessible.
Rillettes with cornichons on rustic bread
Awards & Accolades
"Lots of crushed blueberries with chocolate and hints of vanilla. Medium to full body. Creamy tannins. Flavorful finish. Opulent, yummy and plush."
91 points, James Suckling, jamessuckling.com
"Bright dark red. Shows more peppery pyrazine reserve on the nose than the Cabernet Sauvignon, along with an aroma of raspberry. Richer and sweeter on entry, displaying more mid-palate texture, depth and fullness, if in a classically dry package. Some red as well as black fruits here, plus a hint of bitter chocolate. The tannins are more serious but also fine, dusty and suave, and the finish builds slowly. I find a bit more density and depth here, along with a more penetrating, peppery back end that calls for a year or two of cellaring. And, compared to the Cabernet Sauvignon, there's already more material here to buffer the wine's tannins."
91 points, Stephen Tanzer, Vinous
"The 2017 Claret is a more value-priced release and is 54% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc, and the rest Malbec and Petit Verdot, aged 18 months in 57% new French oak. Bright mulberry, Bing cherry, exotic flowers, and bouquet garni notes give way to a medium-bodied, plump, beautifully balanced red that has ample upfront charm and richness as well as classic Cabernet style."
90 points, Jeb Dunnuck, jebdunnuck.com