Wine of the Day October 22, 2014

Matthiasson2012 Matthiasson, Refosco, Matthiasson Estate Vineyard, Oak Knoll, Napa Valley.
One of Napa’s top vineyard managers, Steve Matthiasson is making a name for himself as a winemaker, and his estate wines are some of Napa Valley’s most interesting and unique wines, especially this rare northern Italian grape Refosco bottling. This was the first time trying this opulent and unique red from Matthiasson, and I can tell you it was a stylish and wonderful experience, this is super stuff with dark fruit, hints of herb, spice and mineral. Refosco, found mostly in Friuli, Colli Orientali Italy, but is also widely planted in Slovenia and even Croatia, it is a tannic and identified by it’s red stems, making for powerful and sometimes very rustic wines, though modern and gentile winemaking has tamed this varietal in recent decades. Refosco has been around for a very long time, it seems to be first praised in the first century by Roman writer Pliny the Elder, it is mentioned in his text as a famous good wine, and the Hapsburgs are said to have built a railway from Austria to the Trieste region to have the wine transported! And now Matthiasson is creating a new chapter for Refosco here in Napa Valley, and after having it for the first time recently, I think it is a success and should be celebrated! The 2012 Matthiasson Refosco starts with a Gamay meets Syrah character with an extra kick of tannin making for a quite serious and powerful red, showing red cherry, blackberry, plum and strawberry fruits along with rocky/mineral, dried flowers, hints of game, truffle and sweet tea, plus minty herbs, anise, blueberry and tangy currant notes. There is a touch of wood with cedar notes and the wine coats the palate and is very full and round, almost creamy in feel, this is classy stuff and well crafted, drink from 2015 to 2022. (Please note the image above is not the Refosco label which is white with blue)
($45 Est.) 93 Points, grapelive