Like no other grape, Grenache is a heady, frolicking mix of fruit and spice. It’s not a wine that causes one’s brow to furrow contemplatively; it’s all about laughter and the celebration of life, of eating and drinking lustily. Don’t think, just drink - that’s the ticket!
The wines from the wee Mathis Vineyard vary a bit from year to year, but in a predictably narrow range. The hallmark fruit characters are dried black cherry, framboise, wild plum, cranberry, a kiss of currant and strawberry jam, then tie it up with a some piney juniper spice and a quick grind of black pepper; a little garrigue if you will. All framed in suitable tannic structure, enough to make it pair with foods but never as high as to jamb an elbow in your ribs. This is known as B-A-L-A-N-C-E, something not often seen in California, haha! Take note.
Like in the south of France, the Mathis isn't pure Grenache; Petite Sirah, Carignane and Alicante Bouschet are part of the field blend, and contribute structural, spice and fruit components. The actual blend varies from year to year, the Grenache typically making up about 85% - check out the tech sheet for exact vintage composition.
In a nutshell, it’s totally YUM. You gotta try it.
Oh, one last thing: I never use new oak for aging the Mathis Grenache. Never. Ever. Ever. Don't get me wrong, I'm pro barrel aging, but NEW barrels would absolutely ruin the beautiful fruit and finesse of a wine like this. Plus, if it tasted like every other California wine, why would you bother drinking it?
Curious about how it's made? Here's an advance look at the 2013 Mathis Grenache still in the tank fermenting: