Matthiasson White Wine Napa Valley
93 Points - Decanter
This wine is our conception of a mythical “ideal” wine…a California wine with a spiritual connection to Friuli, Italy, but also drawing inspiration from the great whites of the Loire, Burgundy, Graves, Alsace, the Rhone, old-school Napa and Sonoma…actually the list of great whites we are inspired by goes on and on, and it is all wrapped up in this wine. This wine is an attempt at getting at the core of what white wine is all about, the archetypal “white wine,” thus the name. It’s a very intentional blend of four varieties from two vineyards. The blend is roughly 50 percent Sauvignon blanc, 25 percent Ribolla gialla, 20 percent Semillon, and 5 percent Tocai friulano. The Sauvignon blanc brings a clean fresh citrusy acidity and some tropical character. The Ribolla gialla brings seashell minerality, nuttiness, and structure to the blend. The Semillon contributes viscosity and waxiness that adds gravity and weight. The Tocai friulano adds spicy aromatic notes. The acidity and fruit expression is balanced by a rich lees character and a faint backdrop of creamy oak. There is interplay in the wine between lightness and richness, and focus and complexity. The 2017 White Wine has its trademark spice and mineral quality, and despite the warm year the wine carries its trademark acidity and freshness. This was partly the result of more leaf cover in the vineyard, and partly due to earlier harvesting. Trademark flavors include white peach, kafir lime, lychee nut, beeswax, ripe fig, and pineapple, with prominent wet stones, flint, oyster shells, and freshly baled straw. The fruit was very lightly whole-cluster-pressed. All four varieties were blended immediately upon dryness, racked and returned onto the lees for aging until bottling. As always we used 20% new Boutes barrels, with no stirring. To preserve all of the acidity the wine was prevented from going through malo-lactic fermentation. After ten months of barrel aging, the wine was filtered to prevent further malolactic fermentation, and then bottled. Intended to age, the White Wine is held in bottle for at least a year before release, but will reward much longer aging.