I got a nice note with an offer to taste the wares of this very special family the other day, and got some 375 ml samples the next day. And what a treat when I opened them up tonight. The name Steve Matthiasson (pronounced ma-thahy-uh son) may not roll off the tongue easily, but it should ring a few bells - and these wines should make the phones ring. As a viticulturist, he has worked his farming magic on over 30 high end vineyards for top wineries, including R.H. Phillips. With his wife Jill Klein, they own the Napa Fruit Company and this winery whose output is currently at around 240 cases. Mini-micro sensibilities with a careful and hands-off approach makes for some great, complex wines.
2006 Matthiasson Napa Valley White Wine
The first thing that hits your nose is this is no ordinary Napa White. The only thing I've smelled lately that comes even close is the iClivi wines of Fruili. Huge honey, citrus flowers, and faintly mushroomy, this is a blend of Sauvignon blanc, Ribolla gialla and Tokai friulano --not your everyday garden Napa varietals. It is such a beautiful fresh scent and so unusual that you keep coming back to the glass trying to figure out what's in it. Oh, and it tastes absolutely delicious. Highly recommended.
2005 Napa Valley Red Wine
When I first pulled the cork, immense amounts of sediment were on the cork and I knew this was some serious unfiltered juice. I don't have any information on what is in this, but I'm guessing that it is mostly Merlot, some Cab Franc and Cabernet, perhaps with a dose of Petite Syrah in there. (I'm sure they will correct this!) The nose is as complex as Fernet Branca - crazy earthiness, menthol, blueberries, --wow. The flavor is quite dark in the mid-palate and finish, and shows this is a very meaty wine, ready to put down for a few more years. The tannins are up-front but a great drink now. Again, highly recommended.