2013 Reserve Claret

The flavor profile of the Reserve Claret is complex, ripe, and balanced. It is a harmony of ripe fruit and rich, savory notes. This is a wine that is designed to thrill, but not to overwhelm. If you like the Claret, expect something similar only more... more intensity, more texture, more detail... tannins that are slightly softer and finer. Look for strong, brooding flavors of Bing cherry, black currant, plum, vanilla and dark berries, with notes of cassis, tobacco, leafy herbs, spring flowers, licorice and chalkboard dust. It is incredibly drinkable on release, but it promises to age gracefully, gaining complexity and detail for years—even decades—to come. Enjoy it, but save some... it’ll be worth the wait.

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"Another sensational wine is the 2013 Reserve, which is largely Cabernet Sauvignon blended with 28% Merlot and 4% Cabernet Franc, aged 21 months in new French oak. It reveals fabulous purity of fruit and full-bodied richness, as well as textbook Bordeaux-like notes of black currants, cassis, lead pencil shaving and leafy herbs. It shows more and more tannin with time in the glass, but it never loses its overall sense of elegance and purity. Well-stored bottles should be at their best from 2020-2038. "

95 points - Jeb Dunnuck, Wine Advocate

Tasting Notes

Ripe and complex notes of red and black currants, strawberry preserves, plum skin and black tea. Swirling adds richness and vibrancy with dried herbs and potpourri. The palate is rich and beautifully textured with great freshness and firm but age-worthy tannins. This will be a stunner for several decades.

Scores & Reviews

"Bright ruby-red. Musky dark chocolate complements aromas of cassis and licorice. Like the Cabernet Sauvignon, this is densely packed but a bit youthfully compressed in the early going (Morell mentioned the rather cool maximum fermentation temperature of 80 degrees F). But this tight, backward blend boasts terrific precision that presages a graceful evolution in bottle. And even today there's nothing hard about it. "
- Stephen Tanzer, Vinous

Wine Facts


Columbia Valley


Stillwater Creek, Red Mountain Vineyard, Hedges Family Estate, Weinbau Vineyard

Varietal Composition:

68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc


78% new French oak, 12% used for 21 months



Cases Produced:



2016 – 2024

Trade Materials

Additional Information about this vintage

Vineyard Philosophy: The reserve doesn’t come from special vineyards or blocks, it’s simply the most select juice from the same vineyards that have become the backbone of the Matthews program. This is the essence of our winery, exceptional fruit, from iconic sites, blended to showcase the world class wine that Washington can produce.

Winemaking story: The Matthews Reserve Claret is simply the best blend we can produce and truest embodiment of our very specific style and philosophy. This is a big, cab-driven, Bordeaux-style wine with lots of fruit, lots of ripeness, lots of texture, but also a lot of restraint. When we brought the reserve back into our portfolio in 2010, our goal was not to make the most concentrated cab blend, but to make the most balanced, most complex, most seamlessly integrated wine that we could—the kind of wine that inspired us. If the Claret is what you reach for when you’re looking for incredible value in an everyday wine, the Reserve is what you break out for special occasions. It’s filled a gap in our portfolio (and on our palates), and its remarkable reception over the past few years indicates that we aren't the only ones who are pleased to toast its success. This is a wine made without restrictions: no limitations on which blocks it gets sourced from, or how much new oak it gets, or what percentages of Cab/Merlot/Cab Franc we use, or even how much we produce each year. The Bordeaux tradition serves as an inspiration to bring out the best of each varietal and combine them in a harmonious expression. But this is a uniquely Washington wine, and as such it brings together the depth, the tannin and the backbone of the old world with the luscious fruit you might expect out of a California cab. The only limits we impose on the Reserve are an insanely high bar on quality and a dogged commitment to only put out wine we ourselves most love to drink.

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