Thursday, April 30, 2020

The Arsonist Red Blend 2017


April is Matchbook Wine Company Month, with reviews focusing on their wine all month! To see all of my reviews by this winery for the last five years, check out my Matchbook label. To learn about their history, read my article "A Brief History of Matchbook Wine Company".

Dracarys! The Arsonist is their label for wines a price point or two higher than their flagship Matchbook label, and their 2017 Red Blend is 53% Petit Verdot from Dunnigan Hils, 24% Malbec from Dunnigan Hills, and 23% Cabernet Sauvignon from Chalk Hill.  It was blended before being aged in French, American, and European/American hybrid oak barrels for 24 months, 30% of which are new. The final ABV is 13.9%.

As always the color is a beautiful garnet. On the nose there's aromas of black cherries, blackberries, orange blossoms, anise, and... yes... as I say every vintage: root beer. Why is that? Am I just crazy? The palate has a much brighter fruit to it this year though, with flavors of red cherries, cranberries, mocha, and root beer, on a full body with a rich mouthfeel and grippy tannin. It finishes with cranberries, mocha, and a spike in mouthwatering acidity.

This is one of those wines that everybody loves once they've tried it, and 2017 is probably the best vintage that I've had of it. Dude, it's AWESOME. A fruit forward stress relief wine by itself, but also making me really want a Porterhouse right now. Arsonist finishes Matchbook Month with two Highly Recommended ratings!

QUALITY VS PRICE RATING
Price: $20
Rating: 5/5 = Highly 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.

Sunday, April 26, 2020

The Arsonist Chardonnay 2018

The Arsonist Chardonnay 2018

April is Matchbook Wine Company Month, with reviews focusing on their wine all month! To see all of my reviews by this winery for the last five years, check out my Matchbook label. To learn about their history, read my article "A Brief History of Matchbook Wine Company".

The Arsonist is their label for wines a price point or two higher than their flagship Matchbook label. Their 2018 Chardonnay is 100% Chardonnay from the Matchbook Vineyard in Dunnigan Hills, California. It was barrel fermented and frequently stirred, and 100% when through malolactic fermentation. 10% of the best lots from the Chardonnay in the vineyard were aged an additional five months longer in oak, and only half of those were selected to become the final blend for the 2018 Arsonist Chardonnay.

Year after year this is one of my favorite Chardonnays. There's aromas of pears, melon, buttered grilled corn muffin, and vanilla ice cream topped with butterscotch. On the palate it's full bodied with a rich and smooth mouthfeel, and an acidity that pops on the finish. There's flavors of melon, canned pears, banana, and vanilla. Then it finishes looooooong with melon and banana. The Arsonist does it again. This is an incredible Chardonnay for the price!

QUALITY VS PRICE RATING
Price: $20
Rating: 5/5 = Highly 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.

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Mossback Chalk Hill Cabernet Sauvignon 2017


April is Matchbook Wine Company Month, with reviews focusing on their wine all month! To see all of my reviews by this winery for the last five years, check out my Matchbook label. To learn about their history, read my article "A Brief History of Matchbook Wine Company".

Mossback is the Sonoma label for Matchbook, and their 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon is 76% Cabernet Sauvignon from Chalk Hil, 15% Merlot from Chalk Hill, and 9% Petit Verdot from Chalk Hill. 6% of the wine was fermented in French oak barrels and aged in those same barrels, while the larger tank fermented portion would be aged for 22 months in French, hyrbrid, and American oak. The final ABV is 13.9%.

On the nose there's aromas of cassis, blackberries, black tea, dried tobacco, and mint. On the palate it's medium bodied with little spike of acidity perfect for food. The Merlot and Petite Verdot provide lushness and smoothness on the mouthfeel, making this a softer / sweeter tannined, more mellow and easy drinking Cabernet. There's flavors of cassis, pomegranate, dark chocolate, oak, and a little bit of licorice. This is a very enjoyable Cabernet for the $25 that it will cost you. And it’s pairing pretty darn good with these Rice Crispy Treats.

QUALITY VS PRICE RATING
Price: $25
Rating: 3.5/5 = Satisfying / 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.

Sunday, April 19, 2020

Mossback Chalk Hill Merlot 2017

Mossback Chalk Hill Merlot 2017

April is Matchbook Wine Company Month, with reviews focusing on their wine all month! To see all of my reviews by this winery for the last five years, check out my Matchbook label. To learn about their history, read my article "A Brief History of Matchbook Wine Company".

Mossback is the Sonoma label for Matchbook, and their 2017 Merlot is 85% Merlot from Chalk Hill and 15% Petit Verdot from Dunnigan Hills. It was aged for 22 months in in American oak, 27% new, and it has an ABV of 13.9%. The nose is just amazing with anise, cherries, cranberries, dark chocolate, olives, and a big ol' chunk of dirt. On the palate it's medium bodied with a rich mouthfeel, a balanced acidity, and soft chalky tannin. All of those aromas return as flavors, and it finishes with long lasting cranberries and dark chocolate.

You know I'm a big fan of Merlot and this one is ABSOLUTELY WONDERFUL! As Matchbook says themselves, it combines Old-World earthiness with New-World fruit, and I gotta say it's just enjoyable as all hell and a fantastic Merlot for the price.

QUALITY VS PRICE RATING
Price: $25
Rating: 4.5/5 = Recommended / Highly 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.

Friday, April 17, 2020

Colomé Auténtico Malbec 2018 for Malbec World Day


It's #MalbecWorldDay and tonight I'm enjoying this killer Auténtico Malbec 2018 from Colomé. It's a deeply pigmented violet purple in color with aromas of medicinal cherries, cranberry juice, figs, sweet tobacco, a little bit of licorice, and I swear a little bit of cumin or another spice that I can't quite place. It's medium bodied with moderate acidity, and the chalky tannin give its mouthfeel a bit of a harshness (not in a bad way, but in a rustic way). There's flavors of black cherries, raspberries, espresso, vanilla, and concrete. And it finishes with black cherries, espresso, and those chalky tannins. This is an awesome, awesome, Malbec! Cheers everybody, and happy Malbec World Day!

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Mossback Russian River Chardonnay 2018


April is Matchbook Wine Company Month, with reviews focusing on their wine all month! To see all of my reviews by this winery for the last five years, check out my Matchbook label. To learn about their history, read my article "A Brief History of Matchbook Wine Company".

Mossback is the Sonoma label for Matchbook, and this Chardonnay is 92% from the Aquarius Vineyard (Russian River Valley) and 8% from the Matchbook Estate Vineyard (Dunnigan Hills). Despite just a small amount of the wine seeing oak aging, to me vanilla is the most prominent feature in the aroma and flavor. There's also pineapple, peach, lime, and honey. It's got a wonderfully rounded palate and is an overall balanced wine, and then there's the addition of butterscotch on the finish that ties it all together to be a solid, serviceable, and reliable Chardonnay for the price.

This is exactly what you want from an $18 Chardonnay without swinging too far to the left or too far to the right in the political spectrum of the Chardonnay oak & butter war. It's momma bear's "just right".

QUALITY VS PRICE RATING
Price: $18
Rating: 3/5 = Satisfying (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.


Sunday, April 12, 2020

Chasing Venus Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2019


April is Matchbook Wine Company Month, with reviews focusing on their wine all month! To see all of my reviews by this winery for the last five years, check out my Matchbook label. To learn about their history, read my article "A Brief History of Matchbook Wine Company".

Although they're located in California's Dunnigan Hills, Chasing Venus is their New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc project out of the McLean vineyard in Marlborough. As much as I love Matchbook overall as a winery, I have always been honest about the ones that I just didn't dig (as I am with every wine). My reviews on previous vintages of this? Not all that good. The 2018 got a 2 out of 5. My review on this vintage? Much, much better. Drastically better.

Yes, it's clearly a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc but it isn't the "POW, NEW ZEALAND PUNCH TO FRIGGIN' FACE!" that I've grown weary of. The acidity isn't out of control and it's got this lovely silky mouthfeel that coats your teeth and tongue on the finish. I get more passion fruit than anything on the nose and palate, but there's also lime, gooseberry, and freshly cut chives. And I don't feel like my mouth was assaulted after I swallow. I feel completely happy and like I want more!

What a huge turnaround this wine took. It's not pungent and intrusive. It's in harmony with all of its components and a real joy to drink. Chase down some of this 2019 Chasing Venus!

QUALITY VS PRICE RATING
Price: $16
Rating: 4.5/5 = Recommended / Highly 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.

Thursday, April 9, 2020

Matchbook Red Gravel Cabernet Sauvignon 2018


April is Matchbook Wine Company Month, with reviews focusing on their wine all month! To see all of my reviews by this winery for the last five years, check out my Matchbook label. To learn about their history, read my article "A Brief History of Matchbook Wine Company".

Made from 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Petit Verdot, and 2% Malbec, this wine was aged in French, Hungarian, and American oak barrels for 12 months. The color of the wine is ruby red. Like the 2016 vintage, on the nose there's aromas of tobacco, eucalyptus, mocha, black cherries, and a pinch of sea salt (maybe more like ice melt?). Such a good nose. On the palate it's medium bodied with a rich mouthfeel, dusty tannin, and a brighter acidity than I remember from other vintages. There's flavors of black cherries, cassis, black tea, anise, and vanilla. Then it finishes with black cherries, anise, pencil shavings, and astringency from that dusty tannin.

This Cabernet has been a favorite suggestion of mine for $15 for years. As mid-range California Cabernet seems to be trending more and more to being lush juice bombs, this is always just a solid Cabernet for the price with the classic Cabernet profile.

QUALITY VS PRICE RATING
Price: $15
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.

Sunday, April 5, 2020

Matchbook Old Head Chardonnay 2018


April is Matchbook Wine Company Month, with reviews focusing on their wine all month! This is the second time Matchbook has had their own month on this blog, but I've done A LOT of reviews of their wines in the past six years. To learn about their history, read my article "A Brief History of Matchbook Wine Company".

Their Old Head Chardonnay has become one of, I'd say, my top three suggestions for a Chard in the $15 price range. I've been reviewing every vintage since forever and I've loved it every time. The 2018 vintage is made from 100% estate grown Chardonnay using Clone 4, Clone 17, Dijon Clones 95, 76, 124, and Clone 809. 75% of it was barrel fermented while 25% was fermented in stainless steel. 78% saw aging in 2 to 5 year old French and American oak, 22% of that new. The final ABV is 13.9%.

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Tinto Rey Rosé 2019, April Wine Pick


April is Matchbook Wine Company Month, with reviews focusing on their wine all month! This is the second time Matchbook has had their own month on this blog, but I've done A LOT of reviews of their wines in the past six years. To learn about their history, read my article "A Brief History of Matchbook Wine Company".

Tinto Rey is one of the labels that Matchbook produces, and their Rosé is my wine pick of the month!  It's April! It's officially Rosé season! This wine is made from 50% Tempranillo, 35% Tannat, and 15% Verdejo. It was fermemted in stainless steel hand has an ABV of 12.8%. For the third vintage in a row, the color is  Crayola peach. There's aromas of white peaches, limes, strawberries, and potpourri. On the palate it's medium bodied with a slightly oily mouthfeel and bright but not overpowing acidity. There's a bit of saltiness among flavors of cherries, peaches, limes, and strawberry. Then it finishes nice and juicy, with the acidity brightening the fruit. Yum yum! This is a very good Rosé for the price!

QUALITY VS PRICE RATING
Price: $19
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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