One of the great stops in Woodinville, Matthews was firs founded in 1992 and remains a family owned and operated winery. The winery has an awesome outdoor space that I recently visited with some friends to take in one of the warmer summer days and enjoy some great Sauvignon Blanc in the sunshine. They have also recently remodeled their indoor tasting room. Matthews relies on the talented hands of Aryn Morell who consults for a host of exceptional Washington wineries. One of the great winemakers in the state, Morell has had previous jobs at some of the best Napa estates including Joseph Phelps, Quintessa, Chimney Rock, Vineyard 29, Chappellet, Stags Leap Winery, and Turnbull. He became head winemaker for Matthews in 2007 and Morell sources his grapes from some great vineyards in Washington like Stillwater Creek, Lawrence Weinbau and Sagemoor Vineyards. All Matthews wines are made at Aryn's production facility in Walla Walla.
A few weeks back I tasted with Aryn over a period of four hours. I have been impressed with the run of quality of Matthews wines, particularly over the past four releases. The new Matthews lineup was very impressive and beautifully displayed Aryn’s signature winemaking style, involving highly structured wines that show beautiful fruit. I loved the new release 2017 Matthews Sauvignon Blanc (WWB, 90) which has awesome ripeness and tension. Even better was the 2015 Matthews Merlot (WWB, 92) which incorporates Cabernet Franc and shows good weight and softness from the Franc. For more about the excellent Matthews lineup check out their website at http://www.matthewswinery.com/ Here are the great new releases by Matthews.
2017 Matthews ‘Columbia Valley’ Sauvignon Blanc- The wine was aged 100% in stainless steel prior to bottling. There is nice citrus rind and grassy elements to the nose with pear as well. The Semillon beautifully rounds out this wine that shows green papaya, pear and citrus rind flavors. This is highly refreshing and satisfying. Drink 2018-2022- 90
2017 Matthews ‘Reserve’ Sauvignon Blanc- The 2017 ‘Reserve’ Sauvignon Blanc was aged in largely concrete and was sourced entirely from the Boushey Vineyard. The nose is opulent with tropical fruits and citrus coming in. This has a wonderful mid-palate weight entices as the wine shows really good freshness and brightness in this exciting vintage for white wines in Washington. I can see this pairing beautifully with shellfish. Drink 2018-2024- 91
2015 Matthews Claret- Sourced from a host of great vineyards in the Columbia Valley, Red Mountain and Walla Walla AVAs, this excellent red wine begins with aromas of black tea, blackberry cobbler and black olive tapenade. The texture is fantastic with black tea, mocha, crushed mint and blackberry cobbler flavors that come together nicely in the glass. Enjoy this over the next five to ten years. Drink 2018-2024- 91
2015 Matthews Merlot- The 2015 Matthews Merlot has 20% Cabernet Franc and 2% Cabernet Sauvignon blended in. The wine starts off with beautiful aromas of cocoa powder, red cherry and dill on the nose. This shows really good mid-palate weight with refined tannins. Black tea, blackberry pie and mocha flavors come together marvelously in the glass. Drink 2018-2028- 92
2015 Mathers ‘Reserve’ Claret- The 2015 Matthews ‘Reserve’ Claret is a gorgeous wine made by the talented Aryn Morell. Once in the glass this begins to display intense aromas of black tea, mocha, blackberry pie and crushed mint. The mouthfeel is fabulous here with black tea, anise, cassis and milk chocolate flavors. The wine shows wonderful balance and poise as well as weight from this warm vintage. Give this at least a one hour decant if enjoying in its youth. Drink 2018-2028- 93