Sunday, November 15, 2015

Wine Review: Matchbook Dunnigan Hills 2012 Old Head Chardonnay

November is Matchbook Wine Company Month on!

For information on Matchbook, you can read all about their great story in my article "A Brief History of Matchbook Wine Company".

Old Head? Hmm. That's an odd thing to call a wine. An "old head" is just a used barrel, and this Chardonnay was aged in used oak barrels for eight months. What this does is give it a little oak character but not as much as new oak. So, for example, vanilla could be hanging out in the background rather than backhanding you across the teeth. And it's going to do those other things you get from oak aging such as a buttery and creamy mouthfeel.

I've had this wine and this vintage before. And, not to give anything away, I hope it's as good as I remember it. By the way: THIS IS MY 100TH REVIEW! (Although there's been at least ten reviews where I did more than one wine. But whatever.) HURRAY FOR ME!

It was made with 100% Chardonnay from the Matchbook Vineyard in Dunnigan Hills, aged in used oak barrels for eight months, and Estate Bottled. The final alcohol is a 13.9% ABV.

Photo Source: Mirror
I've always loved the Matchbook label. It looks like it was rescued valiantly from a fire just before the bottle was engulfed in flames and completely destroyed. I love the design of the type too and how they fit together like a game of Tetris. Brilliant label. 

The color of the wine reminds me of a pilsner or golden ale. So a more golden straw color. On the nose there's aromas of pears, pineapple, Bulls Eye caramel creams, and apple pie spices. 

The mouthfeel is so rich and creamy that even the flavors turn into those creamy, liquidy desserts. It's got lemon custard and vanilla pudding on the midpalate and finishes with key lime pie. Holy shit, forget wine glasses! It should be served in the big-ass glass tops from those fancy pie displays!

The dude has some body weight to it. More than you're gonna find in the vast majority of Chardonnays in its price range. It's got an excellent structure and balanced acidity. But, perhaps most importantly, it's hit the Momma-Bear of oak. Just the right amount of oak to please the oak lovers and the oak haters.

If you've got $14 in your pocket and you love Chardonnay you should pick this one up when you see it, because it'll make you very happy. For your money it's a heck of a wine and I give it a 4 out of 5 for Recommended.

Price: $14
Rating: 4/5 = Recommended (what does that mean?)

The bottle used was supplied free of charge for the purpose of this unpaid review. To have your wine reviewed follow this link.


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