2006 MATTHIASSON Napa Valley Red Wine
The blend is 51% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Cabernet franc, 3% Petit verdot, and 1% Malbec.
The fruit is from two vineyards against the hills on the far west side of the Oak Knoll District, against the hills, at the base of Mt. Veeder. They are both right on Dry Creek; the Cabernet is in the mouth of the cool, breezy canyon, while the Merlot is on a warm gravel bar right as the creek spills out into the valley. The warm rocky Merlot vineyard, with its rich, ripe, aromatic fruit, and the cooler Cabernet vineyard, with its tannic structure and firm acidity, comprise the blend every year.
The fruit was fermented at low temperatures in small, open-top tanks (outside, next to the vineyards), and punched down by hand one to three times a day, depending on taste during the fermentations. The wine was blended immediately after the lots were pressed, so that the wine could marry from the very beginning.
The wine was aged in 50% new French oak, and 50% neutral barrels. After 18 months of elevage, with only one racking when it was blended, the wine was bottled, unfined and unfiltered. 290 cases were made.
This vintage gave a freshness and minerality that can be very elusive in the Napa Valley. The vineyards provided their full spectrum of aromas and flavors, from dried herbs and mint to chocolate and rich ripe fruit. The wine has weight and length, but is balanced with cleansing acidity (our goal is “weight without heaviness”). The pH is 3.58, the TA is 6.19, and the alcohol is 14.6 %.