Matthews Reserve Claret
Complex, Ripe, Restrained, Exceptional
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 it’s 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.
Bing cherry, black currant, plum, vanilla and dark berries, with notes of cassis, tobacco, leafy herbs, spring flowers, licorice and chalkboard dust
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.
Ribeye, coq au vin, duck, braised lamb, cassoulet, steak frites or Alaskan salmon
This wine pairs well with anniversaries, promotions, date nights, graduations and all manner of special occasions. It’s memorable, complex, but still approachable. It also pairs nicely with food—like a perfectly cooked ribeye, or a coq au vin. It compliments exceptional bistro fare—duck, braised lamb or a rich cassoulet. But it’s perfectly at home with steak frites or the first fresh Alaskan salmon of the season, grilled to perfection in your backyard and shared with a few close friends.
In the Vineyards
The most select juice from the same vineyards that have become the backbone of the Matthews program
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.
In the Winery
It undergoes a slightly cooler, slightly longer fermentation to achieve more compression, more density, more complexity
Our process in the winery is much like the product that results: similar to our process for all our wines, only pushed to be more and better. The Reserve Claret is blended form a small subset of our most select barrels (Cabernet, Merlot and Cab Franc only). It undergoes a slightly cooler, slightly longer fermentation to achieve more compression, more density, more complexity. It also spends a little more time in barrel—19-21 months—to achieve the profile we’re looking for.