May 19, 2012
I’m catching up on past entries, made before I started this blog. We visited Mattebella on a beautiful sunny day, our second visit. This is a fairly new winery, and when we came last year we were almost the only ones there, but now it is more crowded. Chris, who with her husband owns and operates the winery, remembers us. She’s lovely–very friendly and outgoing, happy to chat about her wines. The vineyard is named for their children–Matt and Bella! Although the tasting room is a tiny shack, they have plenty of chairs and tables on a rustic patio, close to the vines. They have six wines, at $2-4 per taste, served in lovely round-bottomed glasses. We opt to share a full flight. Although Chris is being helped by John, who is very knowledgeable, service is slow. We actually see one couple get up and leave, having not been served, but it is a lovely warm day and we are in no hurry.
1) 08 Chardonnay $16
An aroma of honey and, surprisingly, spinach. We taste apricot and red grapefruit, but it is a bit sweet. Maybe too sweet to have with a meal…but it would make a good aperitif wine, as it is nice for sipping, with a pleasant finish.
2) 09 Chardonnay $17
A little plate of creamy brie and sliced baguette comes with this wine, and Chris urges us to taste it both before and after we have the brie. Good move. The aroma is grassy, and a bit like white grape juice (I know, shocking, a drink made from grapes that smells like grape juice!). The wine is tart with a light oak taste and some zingy acid at the finish. After the brie, it is definitely less acid, with nice fruit as the flavors blend in the back of my mouth. This wine is light, and good cold, and clearly good with brie.
Chris tells us that all their grapes are hand-picked, and they use all organic growing methods.
3) 2010 Rose $16
This rose is 90% Merlot, with aroma and taste that reminds us of watermelon. Actually, it reminds me of a watermelon infused with vodka I once had (and I’m not going to say anything more about that). There’s a slight tingle, and it is a simple, nice wine, but not as good as Croteaux’s roses.
4) Famiglia $15
This is a good basic red table wine, which would be fine with pizza. There’s an aroma of tobacco and dark fruits, and the taste is dry with some minerality.
5) 07 Old World Blend $30
This is a Bordeaux blend–Merlot, Cab Franc, Cab Sauvignon, and Petit Verdot–and we bought a couple of bottles last time we were here. The aroma includes tobacco and the earthy terroir typical of the North Fork. The flavor is interesting, with some cherry, and a good balance of dry and sweet.
6) 08 Old World Blend $30
Another blend–Merlot, Cab Sauvignon, and Cab Franc. We are served a little plate of bread, cheese, and fig jam with this wine, and find that there is a fig taste in the wine that is enhanced by the fig jam. Fascinating. Other than that, we taste black cherry, and sense again a slight earth aroma.
We buy 2 bottles of Famiglia, one 09 Chardonnay, and one 08 Old World. Now I just have to get some fig jam. I wonder if Briermere carries it?
Reasons to visit: personal service; the chance to see how some of the wines taste with food; support for a mostly-organic vineyard; Famiglia, 08 Old World Blend, 09 Chard.