2018 MATTHIASSON Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
2018 Cabernet Sauvignon
In the tradition of Cabernet sauvignon, ours includes a small amount of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, and is blended from six vineyards throughout the Napa Valley. The three AVAs are Coombsville for structure and black fruit, Rutherford for savory Cabernet characters and bright fruit, and Oak Knoll for soft fruit. It is a Napa Cab of the old school, a blended wine, age-worthy, complex, and begging for a steak off of the grill.
2018 was as close to a perfect year as we’ve had in years. Abundant winter rains, a mild spring, and then a long and consistent growing season made for a really nice respite from the roller coaster of 2017. We had no curve balls at all, and the lack of heat spikes maintained juicy acidity and fresh fruit flavors to balance the beautiful concentration and richness from the longer ripening period.
The fruit was fermented in small open-top tanks and either punched down or pumped over twice per day, depending on flavor; we don’t strive for a high rate of extraction, instead choosing to preserve the freshness and high-toned aromatics. Since the fermentation temperatures were cool, the fermentations were long and slow, mostly lasting around three weeks. The wine was pressed at dryness, blended immediately, and aged for 20 months in a combination of mostly used and a few new barrels (<20% new French oak).
The nose shows abundant red fruits, lots of bright cherry along with blackberry, cranberry, mulberry, and framed with hints of mineral/herbal characters such as graphite, cedar, and pencil shavings. The palate is vibrant and fresh, with medium tannin and beautiful acidity. Decanting is highly recommended.
The blend is 86% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc, 1 % Petit Verdot. Alcohol is 13.5%, TA is 6.1 g/l, pH is 3.68. 794 cases produced.
The Dead Fred Vineyard in Coombsville sits on rocky volcanic soil. It’s south-western exposure causes it to pick up heat during the day, and the proximity to the mouth of the Napa Valley keeps the nights cool. We leased it in 2012.
The York Vineyard is in the heart of Rutherford, on the classic gravelly alluvium known to create the famous “Rutherford Dust” character. We leased it in 2013.
The Helen’s Gate Vineyard is the home of Arthur Berliner and Marian Lever. It sits on an east-facing hill along Whitehall Lane in the Rutherford District of Napa Valley. We planted the vines in 2009.
The Red Hen Vineyard is on rocky alluvium next to Dry Creek, in the Oak Knoll District. Cool breezes and dry rocky soil combine to create structure and ripe fruits.
The Bengier Vineyard (formerly Vare) is also on Dry Creek, in the Oak Knoll District, but on gravelly soils in the mouth of the canyon. The cool air drainage and short fall days as the sun is blocked by the redwoods result in light aromatic wine.
The MATTHIASSON Vineyard is on loamy alluvial soil on the west side of the Oak Knoll District, just south of the Red Hen Vineyard. It is the coolest of the vineyards, receiving morning fog and afternoon sea breezes most summer days.
The Phoenix Vineyard is on shale soil on a steep hillside on the far west side of the Oak Knoll District. The vines were planted in 1982 from a heritage selection massale, and are mostly dry-farmed. This is our winery estate vineyard.
*Summer heat is still blanketing much of the country. Upgraded 2-Day Air is available with additional fee. Fall shipping outside of CA will begin in October unless weather conditions change before then.