The 2017 Matthews Reserve Claret was crafted from several small vineyard parcels across two separate AVAs in Washington State: Columbia Valley and Red Mountain. Farmed using sustainable practices, the vines were limited to one cluster per shoot or three clusters per spur to create maximum concentration in each cluster. They were hand-harvested in the early morning between September 8th – October 28th. Upon arriving in the winery, each cluster was hand-sorted, berry-sorted, and then fermented in either stainless steel (70%) or concrete (30%) tanks. Using only the free-run wine, it was then moved to custom French oak barrels (89% new) for 30 months of cellaring with over 40 individual evaluations by our winemaking team. The resulting 18 barrels were bottled, without fining or filtration, on April 18, 2019, producing only 445 cases.
Hearty beef stew with root vegetables
Saturated currants, cassis, plum skin, bloomed baking spices with a whiff of hardwood smoke, graphite and crème brulee. Swirling adds some sweetness and perfumed dried herbs. This wine smells dense and opulent with unfolding layers of fruit and spices. The palate is fabulously rich with dark smoldering black fruit, black tea and lingering spices. The texture and tannins are luxurious and persistent. Young now, but almost irresistibly drinkable, I can’t wait to see a few years on this wine.
83% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot
Bacchus, Dionysus, Stillwater Creek, Canyons, Shaw 32, Quintessence, Hedges Family Estate
Fermented in 70% stainless steel and 30% concrete tanks. Aged for 30 months in 89% new French oak.
Awards & Accolades
"One of the flagship releases here is the 2017 Reserve Claret, which is based on 83% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot, and the rest Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Not yet bottled, this deep ruby/purple-hued beauty boasts rocking crème de cassis and black raspberry fruits, notes of spice box and chocolate, medium to full body, and silky, polished tannins that emerge on the finish. It's another impeccably made, seamless, gorgeous wine from this estate."
93-95+ points, Jeb Dunnuck, jebdunnuck.com
"Deep red-ruby. A bit less medicinal than the Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon and more violety, offering scents of cassis, blackberry, licorice and minerals. Dense, suave and broad; a wonderfully plush wine with a restrained sweetness and terrific violet lift to its cassis, blackberry and licorice flavors. Finishes with a very firm dusting of tannins and compelling black fruit and violet perfume. A complete, impeccably balanced blend with lovely energy and reserve. Lay this one down. (aged in 89% new French oak for 30 months; a selection of barrels chosen for density, aromatic clarity and complexity, not to mention ageability)"
93+ points, Stephen Tanzer, Vinous
"An instant success, the 2017 Reserve Claret is a blend of 83% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot. It opens with a beautiful and nuanced nose with aromas of spiced sugar plum, blackberry reduction, black raspberry, currant and cassis, sweet tobacco, worn leather and dusty purple flowers with elements of new French oak. Full-bodied, the wine is rich, round and dusty with elements of chocolate pot de crème, and it quickly becomes a wine that you want to smell and inhale as it changes in the glass. Juicy, ripe red and black fruit lingers on the long, drawn-out finish with a soft mineral tension and elegant French oak essence. The wine was aged for 28 months in French oak barrels, 90% brand new. It’s delicious, just give it additional time in the bottle before opening and be sure to decant when you finally do open the bottle. Only 5,520 bottles produced."
92+ points, Anthony Mueller, The Wine Advocate