These days, I find myself trying to relax and unwind more often than not—sometimes even in the tub. On the latest edition of light-candles-and-soak-before-you-lose-your-damn-mind, I brought a bottle of Matthiasson Chardonnay Linda Vista 2018 to accompany my search for a “serenity now” moment (Seinfeld, anyone?).
I had been wanting to try Matthiasson wines for a while, but I just hadn’t come across them. Fueled by their passion for the land and farming, Steve and Jill Klein Matthiasson leased this vineyard across the creek from their home in Oak Knoll. The vines were planted in 1989 by Beringer and the site is certified organic, farmed by Matthiasson to produce this Chardonnay. The cool winds and clay soils there preserve zesty acidity and freshness, while the Napa sun provides richness and ripeness. And I’m thankful that they prioritize sustainable winemaking with an emphasis on expression and purity of fruit (because that’s how I take my Chard).
This paragraph is for my wine geeks, so skip ahead if you’re not. For harvest, they use the traditional method of harvesting the fruit a number of different times during the ripening period. The earlier harvests contribute acidity and minerality, and the later harvests contribute flesh and richness. They whole-cluster press all of the grapes, then ferment and age the wine in seasoned French oak barrels, with only native yeast. There is no battonage (lees stirring) or racking. They allow two-fifths of the barrels to go through malo-lactic fermentation.
Didn’t take note of the color (it’s challenging in a tub), but the nose was ripe with yellow apple, light vanilla, and a little brioche. The mouth different than I had expected—tarter apple than I had expected with lemon and some minerality, and a light creaminess. I’m glad the butter bomb wasn’t there, since only a small amount of the barrels went through malo. It was dry with medium body, medium alcohol, and medium acidity. It reminded me of my first Chard lover—Chablis. I grabbed this one at Verve Wine for $32. I’d definitely drink it again in a tub, with a nice meal, or anywhere, really.