2014 Merlot

The Matthews Merlot presents with smoky blue and black fruit—plum, blackberry, blueberry—with a resinous, almost leathery undertone. We love to bring out the darker, more brooding side of Merlot, and balance it with the touch of graphite, chocolate and green aromatics from the Cab Franc. This wine has understated tannins and a silky, sensuous texture. It’s too easy to drink, but impossible not to think about. We set out to create a wine that delivers early drinkability, but will continue to show well for 12 years at least, and remain beautifully drinkable through 20 or more.

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"Good dark red. Plum and cherry aromas are lifted by a note of wild herbs. Compellingly plush and generous in the mouth, offering a distinctly layered texture to its flavors of black raspberry, cigar box, milk chocolate and herbs. Already extremely appealing but I wouldn't describe it as soft. The long, palate-staining finish builds inexorably. A knockout chocolatey Merlot with outstanding breadth and finesse."

93 points - Stephen Tanzer, Vinous

Tasting Notes

A stunning perfume of strawberry puree, singed vanilla bean, black currant and plum skin. Hints of baking spices add complexity to this dense and penetrating wine. Swirling brings up darker fruits, wood spice and iron. The palate is fresh with thick fruit and perfectly integrated tannins. Ripe but beautifully restrained with a long and generous finish. A thrilling wine to enjoy in its youth; this one is worth cellaring.

Scores & Reviews

"Combines a dense core of tannins with a rich, plush exterior, offering blackberry, bittersweet chocolate and spice accents that linger on the finish. Drink now through 2022. 345 cases made."
- Tim Fish, Wine Spectator

"Ample blackcurrant, leafy herbs, earth and black plum notes emerge from the 2014 Merlot, and it's beautifully ripe and textured on the palate. It needs a touch more mid-palate depth, but is a pretty, beautifully balanced Merlot to drink over the coming 7-8 years. The blend is 83% Merlot, 13% Cabernet Franc and 4% Cabernet Sauvignon, aged 21 months in 70% new French oak."
- Jeb Dunnuck, Wine Advocate

Wine Facts

Appellation:

Columbia Valley

Vineyard(s):

Dionysus, Hedges Family Estate, Red Mountain, Pepper Bridge Vineyard

Varietal Composition:

83% Merlot, 13% Cabernet Franc, 4% Cabernet Sauvignon

Aging:

70% new 30% used French oak for 21 months

Alcohol:

15.3%

Cases Produced:

345

Drinkability:

Now-2026

Trade Materials

Additional Information about this vintage

Vineyard Philosophy: This wine is very actively engineered in the vineyards. We’re careful to manage yields and limit canopy growth to build concentration, depth and power. We want length and texture, and tannins that are refined but very definitely present. We source primarily from Red Mountain and the Royal Slope, with some of our Cab Franc coming from the southwestern fringe of the Columbia Valley. We look to minimize the herbaceous notes of the Cab Franc, while enhancing the darker, smokier notes in the Merlot.

Vintage Notes: Warm temperatures and an abundant, early crop produced picture-perfect grapes with soft tannins. With no rain, no early freezes and a harvest that was about two weeks ahead of usual, the 2014 vintage was pretty ideal. There were no heat spikes and nighttime temperatures were cool, providing acidity and balance.

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