Matthews Cellars 2004 Claret red wine

Another early WAwineman classic, 1st posted on March 8, 2008:

Saturday, in the park, thinking ’bout a glass of good wine. That’s how I felt after walking Seattle Center. Did some pre-spring cleaning in the cellar then waddled back up to the main floor for some baby back ribs. Oh, the decision not to open up Januik’s Klipsun Vineyard merlot and rather choose this reddie, sometimes I wonder what I was thinking. But, I had to try a Matthews wine since Matt Loso is one of the backbones of Woodinville’s boutique wine industry, consulting to many micro-wineries.
In all fairness, 2004 in WA was a sub-90 year for grapes but quite a few were able to surpass a 93 rating from Wine Enthusiast. There are no ‘Reserve’ wines from Matthews for the 2004 vintage, likely for this reason. This one scored a 91, which is justified. The ribs, with a tangy red sauce smothering the soft, juicy meat was superior to the Claret. I was expecting more oomph, but this is his ‘second label’ or ‘declassified’ version of a red blend.
Started in 1993, Matthews Cellars (now referred to as Matthews Estate) is located on an 8-acre parcel, near Betz Family Winery and is about to expand its winemaking facility (with caves) and tasting room. He’s never been to Europe, no UC-Davis degree, and tends to break convention on winemaking rules. Goes by pH versus brix. Blends right after fermentation. Worked at CSM, Columbia, French Creek Cellars (gone), driving a forklift at R.E.I., and McCrea Cellars before an angel investor helped out.
Alcohol: 14.5%. 55% cab sau, 22% merlot, 18% cab franc, 4% malbec, 1% syrah. Vineyards: Hedges, Stillwater Creek, Klipsun and Cold Creek. Average vine age: 13 years. Age: 20 months in 1/2 new French oak and 1/2 neutral French oak. Fining: egg white. 3028 cases.
Nose: moderate red and black fruit, a frgrant bouquet. Color: dark red. Mouthfeel: silky with some astringence. Tail trail: 4 seconds with a parting tart barrel residue. A better match with ham or appetizer meats.
Value: $20. Paid: $30. This is WAwineman…uncorked, uneducated, but not uncouth.
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