Matthews Winery 2013 Columbia Valley sauvignon blanc

Meanwhile, in Florida the last 30 days…

A 24 year-old black woman lifted a glass dildo from a Vero Beach Spencer’s store (retail: $24.99) before getting apprehended in a nearby Aeropostale store. Before posting a $500 bond, she allegedly stated that she “did not think she was going to get caught.” Yeah, there are no security cameras in the adult section of a novelty store at a strip mall… Black lives matter. Heading west on Hwy. 60 to St. Petersburg, a 32 year-old black man was arrested for hocking a bracelet for $200 at a pawn shop that he stole from a friend’s home. This habitual jailbird was previously busted for illicit actions and appears incapable of co-existing in society so he earned his current stay behind bars with four felony counts and a $30,000 bond. Black lives matter. Down I-75 and we find ourselves in Sarasota, where a 44 year-old man was pleasuring himself while sitting in the sand as he watched an adult female and her female child head down to the water’s edge. When confronted by a cop who walked up behind him, the banana peeler admitted, “My girlfriend was out of town and I miss her.” Welp, he’ll surely get some after being locked up in county jail and facing a $250 bond. Florida lives matter. Finally, back up I-75 to Wildwood where a 33 year-old white woman did a hit-and-run before cops pulled her over and she subsequently failed field sobriety tests. Cut-and-dry DUI, right? No, kids, we are in Florida–land of pro-level herpderps. The woman insisted to the po-po that they should arrest her “best road trippin friend”… her Chihuahua. After posting $2500 bond, she will be answering to her charges of drunk driving, resisting arrest, and leaving the scene of the accident at her arraignment. No hints as to how she will play the “the dog did it” card… Florida–training ground for all future wine bloggers.

Here’s what is wrong when counties clash with the realities of progress– eight tasting rooms in the greater Woodinville area are facing fines and forced shutdowns because their tasting rooms sit on land zoned agricultural. The wineries affected are: Matthews, SilverLake, Cougar Crest Estate, Castillo de Feliciana, Patit Creek and Forgeron Cellars, Cave B, Winery Kitchen, and Cherry Valley.

Let’s think about it. The Seattle area continues to attract wealth and talent. Just one employer alone, Amazon, will be adding another 50,000 software developers in the next few years. These jobs pay a pretty dime. Hence, prices for homes close to downtown have shot up. That makes plots on the eastside more palatable to purchase. Open space is disappearing as a natural progression of prosperity. Farms have never been associated with wealth, at least the reasonably-sized ones. The farms in Woodinville city limits are not scenic, picturesque vistas. They look more like junkyards and weed conventions. They no longer have a place in Woodinville, at least where commerce is bustling. Isn’t it the responsibility of cities and counties to create a vibrant business environment, attract tourist dollars, and be associated with a high-class product? To keep up with the changing times? Do we really need to preserve the farms of Woodinville? Can you name one farm you purchased food from? It is time for the county to relent and realize that Woodinville is supported mainly by the wine industry. Wine dollars keep Woodinville operating and the eyeballs that visit the city still feel they are in a country setting. They don’t patronize farms. Get real. You want farms? Head north on Highway 9 for about 15 minutes. By popular demand, Woodinville and its immediate environs has morphed into a “Napa of the North.” Its the wineries that make going to Woodinville so much fun, not the farms.

As central Washington goes up in smoke, all that stink has finally blown west. The haze here is disgusting so I can imagine how people confuse Kennewick with Beijing.

What else is there to say about Matthews? Great place to party. Good wines. Arrogant pricing. Case in point is their sauvignon blanc line. $25 for a bottle with the 2014 vintage. Most wineries won’t step past the $20 line, regardless of quality. Only tourists and old white guys pay $25 for a sauvignon blanc, thinking they are getting a Rochioli. This is not Rochioli. It is well made and varietally correct without added bullshit. To comment on its “typicity” would be to admit this is a limp-wristed wine blog and that, we’re not. But, I digress.

This is a good $15 sauvignon blanc. Heady flavors of citrus and fruit flowers. What it lacks is persistence and evolution. That finesse and depth factors. It wants to be top shelf stuff but it isn’t. Nevertheless, drink it chilled with some fruits and cheeses and crackers and a buxom young vixen and it won’t matter. Do not cellar this more than a year. Great for this hot summer for the ages.

Tasted at 57-62 degrees on the IR temp gun. Color: light straw. Aromas/flavors: grapefruit, lemon, orange rind, pear blossom, canned pineapple.

Alcohol: 14.5%. Vineyards: Stillwater Creek, Sagemoor. Harvested: late August, 2013. Fermented 22 days. 75% stainless and 25% concrete. Bottled Feb. 4, 2014. 546 cases. Stelvin cap. Released May, 2014. Power: 2/5. Balance: 2/5. Depth: 2/5. Finesse: 2/5. Rated: 88. Music pairing: “Smokin’” by Boston. This is WAwineman… uncorked, uneducated but not uncouth.

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5 Responses to Matthews Winery 2013 Columbia Valley sauvignon blanc

  1. csabernethy says:

    Hey, you can quit picking on Kennewick – we live in Pasco now. I have a rather ignorant question about concrete fermentation tanks: can they impart any of the “minerality” or “wet stone” aromas commonly used to describe Sauvignon Blanc?

  2. wawineman says:

    Hot damm! Scott, where have you been, brutha? We were about to send a scout team to search for your new crib. So, you live in Pasco now? I assume you have a valid Mexican visa to reside there?

    Good question! The entire purpose of using concrete is to control the temperature fluctuations on the fermenting wine. Concrete has air pockets to allow a softer oxidation of the resulting wine. As for imparting any minerality… that’s an urban myth.

    Looking back at my wine notes, I did mention a certain “spritz” or acid bite that is reminiscent of mineral water.

    When “minerals” or “minerality” is used in reviewing wines here, the description is for either the bubbly character and/or the calcium/magnesium grittiness imparted on the palate, similar to slugging a shot of Schweppes.

    You bring up an excellent query as to the consistency of what “minerality” is when used by other newbie or fake-y wine reviewers. The term is discouraged in teaching WSET students yet some of their instructors use it for their printed reviews.

    Minerality should be reserved for wines that impart a Schweppes character. It is a tasteless carbonated water. Not much flavor other than something that reminds of licking the cement wall holding a public swimming pool (Don’t ask where I figured that one).

    So many of these rookie wine reviewers just go with some jerkoff’s wine notes and replicate the “minerality” term on their blogs. Bullshit.

    Using concrete as a fermenter would lead someone to think that the winemaker wanted to impart a mineral character to the wine. Not so. Only fools would think that by using a concrete fermenter, a winemaker wanted to stress a mineral character in a wine.

    But, to each palate, his or her own…

    Welcome back, Ab! Hope your summer in retirement is going well. Hey, when’s the next house party? I want to check out your new digs!

  3. wawineman says:

    Thinking about it more…
    This is 25% fermented in concrete so if a wine was 100% concrete finished, it would be reasonable to expect more “minerality” in the wine. Since sauvignon blancs tend to be on the lower end of pH 3.0, the acids should dissolve a small amount of the concrete egg.
    The drawback is… I don’t want my sauvignon blanc to taste like chalkboard dust.
    So the final answer is a yes, but depends on how much of the finished wine was fermented in concrete.

    • csabernethy says:

      Interesting. I recently tasted a Mercer Viognier that was fermented in an egg and it was very different from their “normal” Viognier. I will be trying more “egg” wines!

  4. wawineman says:

    Matthews used to do an egg’d sauvignon blanc when they had another winemaker in charge. I thought it was only marginally better, if any.

    If egg’d wines really added something minerally, then two questions arise:
    (1) why aren’t more wines being fermented in concrete?
    (2) is that considered a taboo altering of a wine’s provenance? I’ve had many wines with a slate/granite/quarry character without the supplementary concrete. Stillwater Creek and Sagemoor are sites that don’t impart such characteristics in their sauvignon blanc vines. At least, not as a primary component.

    Ultimately, this wine didn’t show well compared to other local offerings at a lower retail price. It’s a tough call when the landscape has long been dominated by Guardian Cellars’ perennial hoss, Angel.

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