The 2018 Matthews Claret comes from several small vineyard parcels within four AVAs: Royal Slope, Columbia Valley, Walla Walla Valley, and Red Mountain. Harvested by hand in the early morning between September 5th, 2018 – November 12th, 2018, it was then hand-sorted and fermented in the winery using both concrete and stainless steel tanks. The free-run wine was cellared in French oak for 24 months. Evaluated over 40 times by our winemaking team, only 141 barrels were ultimately selected to be blended, and finally bottled November 18, 2020.
Black currants, vanilla bean, hint of strawberry and plum skin. Swirling brings up blackberry, dark spice, and sandalwood. The palate is ripe and dense with great texture. Sweet muddled black fruits, some savory spice, super fine tannins, and a fresh lifted finish. It will age beautifully.
Rillettes with cornichons on rustic bread
Awards & Accolades
"The 2018 Claret from Matthews checks in as 59% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Merlot, 16% Cabernet Franc, and 1% Petit Verdot. Chocolatey red and black fruits, iron, leafy herbs, and graphite notes are just some of its nuances, and it has good ripeness while not being over the top. Medium to full-bodied on the palate, it has plenty of mid-palate depth, ripe, building tannins, and good sense of freshness, all making for a solid, outstanding Bordeaux blend to enjoy any time over the coming 15 years or so."
92 points, Jeb Dunnuck, jebdunnuck.com
"The 2018 Claret blends 58% Cabernet Sauvignon with 24% Merlot, 16% Cabernet Franc and a dollop of Petit Verdot. Aged in French oak, it delivers a soft texture with layers of cocoa powder, dusted black cherry, black olive and scorched earth tones on the palate. Fresh and polished, and finishing very long, this is a downright delicious effort that has at least another decade of life ahead of it."
91 points, Owen Bargreen, Vinous
"Blackcurrant, black cherry, tar and dark chocolate on the nose. It’s medium-bodied with firm, chewy tannins and tangy acidity. Fresh and spiced. 59% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Merlot, 16% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot. Drink now."
90 points, James Suckling, jamessuckling.com