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Red Wine

Matthiasson, 2012 Red Hen Vineyard Merlot

170.00

Variety: Merlot

Region: Napa Valley

Vintage: 2012

This wine….. Plush black fruit and background spice. The Ren Hen Vineyard Merlot is a gorgeous expression of the variety from the iconic Napa Valley.

Where this wine comes from

In 2012, California had an effectively perfect year for grapes. The spring was dry, which meant few problems with mildew. The growing season was long and steady, without any erratic shifts in temperature or rainfall. No blasting heatwaves, no sudden cold spells, no flash-flood rains, no drought. Steve Matthiasson, after holding his breath for months, allowed his mind to form around the potential hanging in every one of the dozens of vineyards he helped manage. This, he said to himself, could be the vintage of a decade. And yet, as the clusters plumped on his clients' vines, ripening in such a way that would allow the wines to elaborate essentially on their own - wines that would perfectly express the vineyard, the climate, the terroir - his clients one by one told him to hold, to wait, to let the grapes ripen to their physical limit. These clients with whom Steve consulted were some of the most prestigious names in American wine. And after two consecutive cold years, they wanted 2012 to be a return to some former glory. Bigger and badder than ever. 15+% alcohol wines from the best of Napa Valley.

He would have to settle for making his own wines, under the Matthiasson label, the way he wanted. Visions of over-ripeness would dominate his roster of clients. That lost opportunity in 2012 will likely not be repeated on a large scale. Over the past four years, there have been seismic shifts in the expectations of consumers. Minerality and acidity, words the average wine drinker would have scratched her head at in 2010, are now so commonplace as to border cliché. That's a huge win for the movement championed by Steve and Jill Klein Matthiasson. Arnot-Roberts, Domaine de la Cote, Hirsch, Broc Cellars, Lioco, Scholium Project, Tyler Winery… The list goes on. Matthiasson is the touchstone among them all. Now long overdue, we are very excited to present the slate of Matthiasson Wines, each on its own terms.

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