Tag Archive | Matthews Estate

Matthews Estate Sauvignon Blanc and a Little Italian Prosecco

This has been a long week.  Jon and I took a President’s Day weekend trip and arrived home on Monday evening (multi-part blog post coming soon – I promise!)  My boss is on vacation (a very over-due vacation), so I’ve been in charge this week, and as a result work has been a bit more busy than usual, and then we had some other stuff going on too.  So this weekend has been a well-deserved break.

On Friday night, I opened a bottle of 2010 Matthews Estate Sauvignon Blanc.  We purchased this bottle during a trip down to Woodinville last year, and I think that Matthews does a great job with their Sauvignon Blanc.  It is actually blended with 6% Semillon, so it isn’t 100% Sauvignon Blanc, but you would never know it from the taste.  This is a crisp wine, with a light acidity and minerality, and hint of floral taste.  It went well with the cheap pork roast and hominy that I quickly cooked last night, but I imagine I’d have been happy pairing it with any type of food.  Jon and I finished the bottle off tonight (Saturday), and it went nicely with today’s shrimp tacos too!

2010 Matthews Estate Sauvignon Blanc

After my one glass of remaining Sauvignon Blanc, I wanted something more this evening, so I opened a bottle of Italian Prosecco Spumante by Villa Carlotti.  I had never had an Italian sparkling wine before, and this bottle was a gift from my former boss after we settled a union contract last year.  As I hadn’t tried it before, I did a little research, so here’s your wine education for the day.  Prosecco is the grape – apparently also called Glera… I’ll be honest, I hadn’t heard of either.  Spumante is the Italian word for the full-sparkling type of production.  There is also a semi-sparkling method of production called frizzante.  Weirdly, you can also buy inexpensive frizzantes in cans in Italy (that just seems wrong to me, but hey, what do I know?)  Due to the fact that Prosecco is secondary-aged in stainless tanks, this makes it much less expensive than its French sparkling cousin – Champagne.  Prosecco is also the typical ingredient in a Bellini, if you are partial to those.

At any rate, the Villa Carlotti Prosecco Spumante is a very dry sparkling wine with a light taste of pear, and a hint of Golden Delicious apple.  Based on internet prices, it seems this wine is fairly inexpensive… between $7 and $11 a bottle, so it would be a great everyday drinking wine.  Could be perfect for Mimosas on a Sunday morning!  Or Bellinis!  I should google the recipe….

Matthews Estate for a Slacker

Shhh… Don’t tell Jon….  He’s at class tonight for his weekly marathon evening of class.  6 – 9:30.  Ugh – I remember when I was in school.  But that’s not the secret.

I’m supposed to be folding laundry.  But instead I’m watching Antiques Roadshow and drinking a glass of 2006 Matthews Estate Claret.  I had a long day at work, went to get gas and to the grocery store, and then made dinner. I didn’t get home until 7 tonight, so I’m going to relax a little bit. 

This wine is mostly sold out, but we found a couple bottles the last time we were at Costco. The Claret is a Bordeaux blend, but the winery doesn’t advertise what the blend is. For a red, it is lightly oaked, with a rich taste of blackberry and espresso (or is that tobacco?)  According to their website, it is both.  Whatever it is, it is delicious, with excellent balance and structure.

Matthews Claret

2006 Matthews Estate Claret

Jon and I were first introduced to Matthews Estate when Jon’s uncle took the family on a Woodinville wine tasting tour.  We’ve been back once, and it was just as good the second time around.  I also love their Sauvignon Blanc.  The winery has a small tasting room with a large barrel room which they open up for special events.  The staff are friendly and love telling you about their wines.  That always makes the winery experience so much better. 
 
Well, I’ve got to get back to the laundry, but I will enjoy my wine!
 
 

Fat Bird, Skinny Turtle, and some wine

On Sunday, Jon and I decided to make our own “Shirk Your Responsibilities” Day. Instead of staying home and getting laundry done and working on things around the house, we decided to go down to Woodinville and do a little wine tasting. When I suggested it to Jon first thing in the morning, I was amazed at how quickly he popped up out of his chair to get ready to go – kind of like a Jack in the Box.  That was my first hint that he was into the idea…  So we got ready, and drove down. On the way, we talked about where we wanted to go.

Jon was interested in heading to Mark Ryan, which was supposed to be in the Hollywood Schoolhouse. The Schoolhouse is an old school that was built in 1912 and is no longer being used as a school. I was under the impression that the school had been converted in space that the wineries were leasing, and each classroom would be a tasting room. Not so much. Apparently The Schoolhouse is a special event space, that is rented out for weddings and other events. It looked beautiful through the locked doors, but there aren’t any wineries there. Alexandria Nicole has a space at one end of the building, with an outside entrance. Mark Ryan, Andrew Ross, J Bookwalter, and PepperBridge are in a building behind the Schoolhouse. It just wasn’t the same.

So after figuring out this Schoolhouse business, we made our way behind the building to where Mark Ryan is. It was a very quiet Sunday, and we were the only ones there. I think it was because Taste Washington, the big wine event in Seattle was that day. At any rate, it was our gain. Mark Ryan has received rave reviews for their wine, and they were delicious. We began our tasting with a Viognier that was very floral. Then we moved into the reds. Mark Ryan has a lineup with pop culture and eclectic names (two of his wines are named after Pearl Jam songs), like The Dissident, The Dead Horse, Wild Eyed Syrah and The Long Haul, and all of his wines, with the exception of the Viognier, are blends. Mark Ryan is into the big, bold Cabernet blends, so Jon was in heaven. The wines for me were all very good, but I found the Cabernet blends all running together. It was hard for me to tell them apart. I liked the Wild Eyed Syrah best.

Mark Ryan’s tasting room follows the pop culture theme as well. They used an antique cabinet as the tasting bar, and had two antique Indian motorcycles. For those of you who don’t know the Indian, it was the motorcycle that BJ Hunnicutt fell in love with in a M*A*S*H episode. It was destroyed in that episode, causing much anguish for BJ. The Indians at Mark Ryan are fully restored (one is a 1928!), and absolutely beautiful. The walls at Mark Ryan are decorated with concert posters, matted and framed in pristine condition. The ambience of the place reminded me of a bachelor’s loft – very hip.

We moved next door to Ross Andrew after that. Ross Andrew started the lineup with a Pinot Gris. I really wanted to love it, because a Pinot Gris is just so rare in Woodinville. It was good, but it wasn’t the crisp fruity Pinot Gris that I really wanted it to be. We also tried the Glaze, which is an affordable Cab blend, which I liked quite a bit. It was smooth and easy to drink, and not overpowered with tannins, like so many Cabs can be. The Glaze is named for the winemaker’s wife’s pottery. The spit bucket in the winery was actually a clay pot that she made, with wine grapes decorating it. It is nice to see a winery that is truly a family affair, down to the Bernese Mountain winery dog Galena (she’s shy though…).

After leaving Ross Andrew, we decided to try to find Chatter Creek Winery. I had purchased a bottle of their Grenache a few months back, not knowing anything about the winery, and it was very good. So, with the help of the GPS and our guidebook that said Chatter Creek is open from 12 – 4 pm on Sundays, we headed over… to find it closed. So much for Chatter Creek, at least for now.

We ended our day with an oldie but a goodie – Matthews Estate. We were there before, a year ago during the Party Bus tour. This year when we went, it was really quiet… there was only one other guy there tasting with us. I was excited that they now have a Sauvignon Blanc, and it was wonderful. Crisp apple taste, perfect for a hot summer day with some Teriyaki chicken on the grill. I brought home two bottles. Their Blackboard charity blend this year is a Cab blend, and I have to say, I just didn’t like it at all. It was very oakey, and seemed pretty harsh to me. I liked their Blackboard Syrah a lot better. I know that they likely change the wine each year, depending on what grapes they have leftover, but I hope they will do the Syrah again. They are still doing their single varietal Syrah, and it is one to be experienced.

Jon and I finished up the day with a little shopping at Molbak’s nursery, and Cost Plus World Market. I managed to walk away from all the beautiful and unusual plants that Molbak’s has, which is good since my yard is totally full. But it was tough. I did have to bring home a fat bird and a skinny turtle with absolutely no practical purpose. But they are cute, and that was enough for me.

The Party Bus

In March of 2010, for Jon’s mother’s birthday, the family rented a party bus for 16 of us to tour the Woodinville wine country. It was nice to have the benefit of a designated driver, although towards the end of the day, I’m not sure what the driver thought of us. That said, the bus was equipped with a stripper pole (I assume for bachelor parties), so in all likelihood we were really tame compared to what he has seen on his bus. The weather was great, it was sunny and I wore a light summer jacket instead of the winter coat I have still been wearing lately. Funny how we remember those details.

So, we got on the bus and headed to our first winery of the day, DiStefano Winery. DiStefano is a family owned winery. We had a large group, and Jon’s uncle arranged for us to have a mini-wine tasting course, with fruit, bread and cheese plates. It was pretty amusing when random people kept wandering in and the owner had to keep telling them that it was a private party. The owner and winemaker led us through his lineup of wines. They have a Sauvignon Blanc that is delicious, but not a crisp clean, Sauvignon Blanc. This wine is more like a Viognier or a big buttery Chardonnay. Which is why Jon loves it. Curiously, we opened a bottle the other day, and on the third day, the wine does take on a more crisp, apple taste – which made me very happy.

The DiStefano Lineup

We also tasted a red blend called Sogno, which appealed to all.  It is most Cabernet Franc, with a little Cab Sauvignon.  It tastes like berries, which I enjoy in a red wine.

The Rose was also very popular. I really liked it a lot and so did several members of the group. I didn’t get it that day, but I would if we go back soon.  Unfortunately, according to their website, it looks like it is currently sold out. One of the wines that we didn’t try that day was their Petit Verdot, this is a varietal that is typically used in blends, so I’m excited to try this wine.

After we left DiStefano, we headed over to the warehouse district and visited Patterson Cellars. Patterson didn’t make any white wines, but we tried several of their reds.  Looking at their website now, it looks like they have added a white or two to the lineup though.  I thought that their wines were too bold and heavy for my taste. I prefer a softer, more approachable red. Even Jon, who likes a bold Cabernet, was not all that impressed with their wines. Our tasting at Patterson was relatively quick, so we had a little bit of time to head to another winery.

After Patterson, Jon, our moms and I headed next door to try out Edmonds Winery. Edmonds is a smaller shop than many of the Woodinville wineries, family owned and they run the tasting room as well. I have talked about Edmonds before (they have a wine called Bentley, named after the winery dog), but I can’t say enough good things about their wine. The ones that we tried were excellent and very reasonably priced. The low point here was that my mom and I both bought a bottle of their Gerwurtraminer that he was closing out. It wasn’t marked as a sparkling wine, but when I drank it, it definitely had carbonation, and seemed off. It was certainly past its prime. Later, when mom opened hers, it was better, but not great. Lesson learned – you can’t win ‘em all. I’ll still come back.

In between wineries, we had a great time making fun of the long lines of cars that got stuck behind us on the hills.  The Party Bus was like the Little Engine That Could, chugging up the Woodinville hills with the weight of 16 winos.  I’m sure they loved us!  Jon’s cousin did a mixed CD of tunes for the day, so we got to rock out with the best of them too.

Matthews Estate was the last winery on the list for the day. Again, they focused on red wines, and did not have any whites. However, I believe that they now have a Sauvignon Blanc that I’m curious to try. Matthews really knows its business. Their reds were all very good, but with high prices they aren’t everyday drinking wines.  We did buy a couple of bottles of their Blackboard Syrah, which is a charity wine that donates a portion of its proceeds to schools.  At $22, it is nice to get an affordable wine and do something nice for the community as well.

We ended out day a bit happier and louder than usual, but a good time was had by all.