2017 Sonoma Valley Grenache by the bottle

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New Release - My raison d'etre! The signature wine from my Sonoma Valley vineyard is now in its 14th vintage, prime years for a mature estate, which is evident in the bottle: The Mathis Grenache is bursting with happy, red fruit flavors backed by the supple tannins from a well-established vineyard. You can get a feel that the Mathis Vineyard has come into its own in this wine. (I should know—I've farmed every row and block for the last two decades!)

PRODUCTION NOTES

VINTAGE: 2017 
APPELLATION: Sonoma Valley 
VARIETAL(S):
  83% Grenache
  11% Petite Sirah
  5% Carignane
  1% Alicante Bouschet
VINEYARD: Mathis Vineyard 
HARVEST: September 24 - October 1, 2017
AGING: 20 months in neutral, 100% French Oak Barrels
ALCOHOL: 14.4% 
CASES: 496 
pH: 3.7
TA: 6.0 g/L

TASTING NOTES

Among the most dark-fruited examples from the Mathis Vineyard, the 2017 Grenache rivals the 2007 and 2015 for lush blackberry and plum fruit, pepper spice, fresh acidity, firm grip and power—all balanced with the typical sweet, red fruit of all Grenache wines. These past vintages have been some of my favorites: they pair spectacularly with food, age well, and have a “seriousness” about them that I adore. I expect the 2017 to be an absolute top year for Mathis Grenache—highly recommended.

Mathis Vineyard - Early Morning, Grenache, Sonoma Valley 

FERMENTATION

The four grape varieties in the Mathis Grenache were harvested together in late September, then co-fermented in an 8-ton tank. The fermentation was uninoculated–only wild yeasts were employed. Once fermenting, the grape must was pumped over twice each day, and the maceration augmented by two délestages mid-ferment. This is a “rack-and-return” technique where the juice of the tank is drained out, leaving the skins, then it’s returned, allowing for thorough extraction. Pressed at dryness after 12 days on the skins.  

GROWING SEASON

Generous Spring rains led to healthy growth and near perfect vine balance in 2017. The ripening season was largely mild, but with a string of over 100° days in early September that accelerated ripening. Yields were small, and the grapes were highly concentrated and deeply colored.

CELLARING

Drinking very well at release, its firm richness rewards pairing with strongly flavored and savory dishes. The excellent tannins indicate a long life to come. I expect it to evolve and improve at least through 2025 and likely well beyond.