What We Say 2003 Dry Creek Valley Bordeaux Blend
HIGH-QPR / RECESSION BUSTER WINE ALERT
Once again, The Wine Spies bring you a Top Secret offering on a stellar wine – at a recession defying price. These Recession Buster wines are chosen, first, for their superior quality. Then, we go undercover with the winery to bring you the wine at a stellar price
SUPERIOR WINE ALERT:
Today’s brilliant Bordeaux style blend from Matrix – in Sonoma County’s Dry Creek Valley – is a great wine, worthy of this special alert.
SECRET SAVINGS ALERT:
Subscribe to our Daily Dispatch (above) and you’ll always know what our Top Secret coupon code of the day is. Every day we issue a new members-only code that entitles you to have Ground Shipping included and, sometimes, an added discount!
Mission Codename: Enter the Matrix
Operative: Agent Red
Objective: Secure an artisan crafted red wine blend, worthy of our Operatives cellars – and their exacting tastes
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Matrix
Wine Subject: 2003 Matrix
Winemaker: Diane Wilson and Antoine Favero
Backgrounder: Bordeaux wines are usually a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet France, Malbec, Petit Verdot and Carmenere. And in France, perfection is achieved by finding the best balance of those grapes. In Sonoma County, one could argue that Bordeaux from the Dry Creek Valley region reign supreme within the county, with large crops of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and to a lesser extent Cabernet Franc. The 2003 Matrix Bordeaux Blend is an elegant blend of 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Merlot, 8% Malbec, 8% Petite Verdot and 4% Cabernet Franc. The Dry Creek Valley’s unique location, climate, aspect and soil make it ideal for the production of the primary Bordeaux grapes. Read Agent Red’s tasting notes and mission report below, for the complete profile on today’s beautiful Bordeaux blend from winemaking legends, Diane Wilson and Antoine Favero
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Dark garnet with a deep and inky core. Bright ruby edges punctuate the beauty of the wine. When swirled, the wine shows a springy and fast-moving surface. It settles quickly, leaving behind alternating clusters of slow fat legs and fast thin legs that ring the edges of the glass
Smell – The brilliant aromas of this wine hit you the moment you open the bottle, delivering an initial rush of dark mixed berries, black currant and smoky cranberry. Following these are notes of chocolate, violet, dark cherry and soft cedar
Feel – Round, wet and velvet smooth initially, then slightly drying as the wines medium body emerges, showing off smooth to firm tannins and an all-over-mouth coating
Taste – Focused and complex with lush flavors of smoky dark berry, black currant, dried violets and smokey plum, with follow-on flavors of soft oak and mild cigar box
Finish – Long and very lush, with a fine-grained mouth coating presence that lingers for a long time, with flavors of ripe black fruit, spice, wood and a soft minerality
Conclusion – With this delicious wine, Diane Wilson and Antoine Favero shows that they deserve the reputation they have earned as a premier winemakers. In partnership with each other, Antoine and Diane manage to coax the ultimate expression of terroir in their wines. Their years of experience shine through in this masterful wine. This 2003 Matrix is a luxurious and truly exceptional Bordeaux blend with an amazing QPR. The wine is drinking beautifully now, and I believe that it will continue to progress very well for a few more years. If you take home a few bottles, be sure to hang on to some for a couple of years. You’ll have to tell me how it is, because I drank all of mine at a recent covert dinner with my fellow agents. Do you decant? Be sure to allow extra time in the air, and you will be rewarded with extra smoothness, lusher flavors and a deeper aromatic quality.
The voice was deep and soft, but with an ardent authority: “Unfortunately, no one can tell you what the ’03 Matrix is. You have to taste it for yourself. This is your last chance. After this, there is no turning back. You taste the white wine – the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You taste the red wine, the ’03 Matrix – you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes.”
I stare at the two wine glasses in front of me and my vision eventually locks onto the man. Looking directly into his eyes, I reach for the glass of Matrix.
“Remember,” he says. “All I am offering you is the truth, nothing more.”
I raise the glass to my nose and inhale deeply. I am suddenly overcome by the myriad aromatic layers that the wine presents. The richness and realness of its fruit. I take a sip – and am stunned by the complexity and elegance of the wine. I look up and the room has changed. I am now sitting at a table in the middle of a vineyard. Looking around, I recognize the surrounding hills – and realize that I am in the Russian River Valley. In a flash of recognition, I realize that I am in the Matrix vineyards!
A crow lands on a nearby trellis. “Caw! Caw! Caw!”
“Beep Beep Beep Beep!”
The sound jolts me awake. This is not my wake up alarm. Rather, it is my snooze alarm! How long has it been sounding!? The time is 9AM and I am late for my rendezvous – to pick up the samples of the 2003 Matrix.
[ed. note: the middle section of this mission has been redacted, in order to protect the identities of confidential informants. Oh, and to make this report less boring, too.]
Mission prologue: Samples secured and tasting now completed (see my tasting notes above), I have contacted the winery through back channels and have secured the remaining cases of this rather amazing Bordeaux blend. Diane Wilson is already a hero of mine, and Antoine Favero’s wines have always pleased us here at Wine Spies HQ. Now, these two winemakers combine their formidable powers to deliver wines that absolutely thrill and delight us. Today’s wine shows beautiful depth, complexity, elegance and balance. Oh, and its delicious, too.
Which choice will you make? Will you enter the Matrix – or stick with ordinary wines? I _thought you’d choose the Matrix!
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The location of the Matrix Winery can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the Winery Says
About This Wine:
Subtle nuances of cassis, chocolate and violet in the nose unfold to a lush mid-palate of dark fruit, black cherry and cedar notes. Fine grain tannins frame a long full-bodied finish.
About The Winery:
Ken Wilson is the visionary behind Matrix and the Wilson family of small wineries and vineyards. He was born and raised in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. In the early 80’s he visited the Bay Area and fell in love with the weather and its wide open panoramas. In those early days, it was through sheer fortitude and grit that Ken found the stunning sites that later became the encompassing estate that it is today.
At Matrix, our passion is to make Pinot Noirs, Chardonnays, and Bordeaux varietals from the best fruit grown in Sonoma County. And our commitment to excellence is found in the elements that allow us to fulfill our passion—the finest vineyards, gifted artisan winemakers, and the tools and support needed for both to excel.
Diane Wilson is the award-winning winemaker at Wilson Winery, which is the flagship winery in the growing assembly of small family wineries the Wilson’s now own. A California native, Diane met Ken in the Bay Area, and they soon fell in love with the same areas of Sonoma County that Diane knew from her childhood. Ken’s vision proved to be a fantastic merger with Diane’s palate and skill, and the rest is fast becoming history.
Antoine Favero has a colorful background. He was born in the Champagne region of France, but at an early age moved with his family to a Peruvian coastal fishing village in South America. At nine years old the family relocated to Northern California’s wine country. He attended UC-Davis, eventually discovering enology and a passion for the alchemy of creating exceptional wines. Brought in to make the wines at Mazzocco, the Zinfandel house of the Wilson family of wineries, Antoine has been earning high praises for his single vineyard designate Zins.
Now Antoine and Diane have joined forces and are sharing the duties at one of the new wineries in the Wilson family: Matrix Winery. As is true for any artisan or craftsman the inspiration comes from the tools and the raw materials. Ken found the forty-four acre Matrix property on a beautiful spot on Westside road right above the Russian River, and is currently replanting some 22 acres with mostly pinot noir, plus some lovely Chardonnay and Zinfandel, and a wee bit of Petite Sirah. For Ken, Diane, and Antoine it is all about new grapes, new vineyards to develop, and new wines to make. After mastering Dry Creek varietals, the two winemakers have turned their expertise to making Russian River Varietals. The proof is already in the sold-out first vintage of pinot noir, with the second Matrix vintage on its way to us soon… Don’t miss the other fantastic varietals at this hotspot of winemaking expertise!
Harvest: October 18-25, 2003
Fermentation: The grapes were hand-harvested and fermented in stainless steel tanks. The resulting wine was aged for 26 months in French oak barrels and bottled unfined.
Composition: 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Merlot, 8% Malbec, 8% Petit Verdot & 4% Cabernet Franc
*pH: * 3.55
Acidity: .61 grams/100 ml
Production: 250 cases
Cellaring: Recommended cellaring time 1 to 10 years
Optimal storage temperature: 55-60 F (13-16 C)