The Demystified Vine

Taking the mystery out of wine exploration!

Looking for a neat little getaway (that is relatively close to Vancouver) for some wine tasting? I recommend heading down to Woodinville Wine Country in Washington State. There are truly some very interesting wines coming out of Amavi Cellars, J. Bookwalter Wines, Jannuik Winery (their Merlot is wonderful!), and of course, Matthews Estate. I have yet to exhaust my Woodinville winery tour, so if anyone is interested in going…

A boutique winery called Matthews Estate lies among the various wineries in Woodinville. Their focus is on Bordeaux styles, and they also do some single-varietal wines as well. Their website states that:

The winery and winemaker, Aryn Morell, believe that there is a deep and tangible link between the vines, hills, winegrowers and winemakers, and carries this proof of affinity into every aspect of winemaking: from the vineyard to the cellar, from the vine to the wine bottle.

Excellent. I like it when the winemaker is thoughtfully inclusive about who and what is involved in making a bottle of wine. Although I was not entirely impressed with their Claret or Syrah, I quite enjoyed their Sauvignon Blanc 2009. Matthews Estate likes to model their Sauvignon Blanc on the Sancerre style. The Sancerre wines that come out of the Loire Valley in France are said to be quite expressive of the Sauvignon Blanc grapes, as well as the terroir that the grapes are grown in. The key is to be able to express the Sauvignon Blanc varietal with little to no adjustments during the winemaking. Many winemakers, however, are now starting to experiment with some minor oaking in order to change the style a bit. This specific vintage, however, was fermented in concrete eggs, stainless steel, and a very small amount was put into barrels. Matthews sourced their 2009 SB grapes from Columbia Valley in southeast Washington. Columbia Valley is quickly gaining a positive reputation in the Northwest and beyond, for being a quality varietal region. This specific vintage won double gold at the Seattle Wine awards in June 2011.

Matthews Estate Sauvignon Blanc 2009 paired with homemade carrot-ginger soup topped with sour cream and dill.

My humble opinion on Matthews Estate Sauvignon Blanc 2009, is that if you are interested in getting to know what this varietal is like, this is a good starter. I am a fan of those rich and vibrant New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs that scream at your palate, but Matthews Estate does an honourable job with providing consumers with a pleasantly palatable wine. The wine was clear and pale lemon. The bouquet was clean, and had light intensity on the nose. It also shone with notes of citrus (lemon juice), dried summer grass, and the faintest hint of beautifully tart green apple. The palate revealed a nice, light+ bodied wine that was dry, high acid, and was overall balanced. Flavour profiles include a citrus-herbaceous infusion with delicate white stone essences. I really enjoyed the minerality in this white wine, because the finish developed a white chalk-like character that complimented the grassiness quite well.

I thought this wine was quite good, and it would be the kind of Sauvignon Blanc that represents Sauvignon Blancs well. Watch out for the alcohol punch though, kids! At 14.1% abv, this wine will have you spinning. It is definitely an easy-sipper. It paired nicely with the carrot-ginger soup (topped with sour cream and dill) that I shared with my partner for dinner one evening. Make sure to consume the entire contents of this bottle when you open it, as it doesn’t last more than one day even with the Vacu Vin seal.

If you would like to know more about Matthews Estate click here.


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