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Matanzas Creek Winery

California Wine, Sonoma County

About Matanzas Creek Vineyard and Winery

Elegance, complexity, balance and consistency are words used to describe the wines of Matanzas Creek Winery. This is a reflection on holding quality as its first concern. Built in 1977, on the site of a retired dairy farm, in Sonoma County's picturesque Bennett Valley, the winery quickly established its reputation producing Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Merlot. Later, the rare Journey bottlings added to Matanzas Creek's mystique. Over the years, ongoing research in winemaking and viticultural techniques has added polish and nuance to the signature style of each wine. The original winery, a converted dairy barn, gave way in 1985 to a modern, state-of-the-art winemaking facility and, over the years, the estate vineyards have doubled in size. Plantings of Syrah were added and first wines released with the 1994 vintage. Gently sloping pastureland was sculpted into the winery's famed gardens and lavender field.

Bennett Valley is unique as it experiences a direct cool air stream from the ocean to this region. This air stream is called the Petaluma Wind Gap and it promotes a cooler, longer growing season that results in more intensity and complexity in the Matanzas Creek wines. After more than two decades of success, the founders of the winery, Sandra and Bill MacIver, retired in 2000, passing the torch to long time friends, Barbara Banke and Jess Jackson. The new owners have embraced the founders' commitment to the tradition of quality and consistency. Matanzas Creek is now the recipient of additional, high-quality fruit from the Jackson family's prestigious Bennett Valley vineyards. Matanzas Creek's history of broad-based, critical acclaim further underscores the winery's position in the marketplace.

Matanzas Creek Winery Sauvignon Blanc

Our 2001 Sauvignon Blanc is a blend of Sauvignon Blanc with a touch of Semillon. True to the house style, it possesses extraordinary complexity and balance while retaining faithfulness to the varietal character. In order to achieve this style, this wine was fermented in French oak barrels and stainless steel tanks. The lots were sur lie aged and stirred for a total of five months. The wine’s nose offers hints of lemongrass, melon and minerality. Pink grapefruit flavors and a mélange of citrus are also evident in this youthful wine. This wine has rich mid palate and hint of oak. If you can wait, our 2001 Sauvignon Blanc should develop even more complexity over five years in the bottle.

Matanzas Creek Winery Merlot

The cavalcade of world-class Merlots from Matanzas Creek continues with the 2001 Sonoma County Merlot. A long growing season and slowly maturing grapes resulted in another majestic wine with deep, intense flavors — the trademark of our Merlots. A delicious nose, packed with cherries, toast, chocolate, cedar and spice. Light tannins soften and gently give way to the finish, which lingers on with notes of cinnamon and fresh berry. This wine has an overall remarkable depth and complexity that guarantees greatness in its old age. Sixty-four percent new French oak was used during the wine's sixteen months spent in barrels. It was then lightly filtered before bottling. Finished wine is a blend of ninety-three percent Merlot, four percent Cabernet Sauvignon, two percent Syrah, one percent Cabernet Franc.

Matanzas Creek Winery Reserve Selection Merlot

The 1999 Sonoma County Reserve Selection Merlot marks Matanzas Creek’s twenty-second vintage as one of America’s premium producers of this varietal. For this, the inaugural release of the Reserve Selection Merlot from Bennett Valley was blended with fruit from Alexander and Knights Valleys. This marriage produced a lush, opulent wine. After crush, fermentation and some extended maceration, individual lots were aged in new French oak barrels for 17 months. The final blend is a full-bodied wine with impeccable balance of fruit, oak and tannins and a further potential for graceful aging. The wine has a red-garnet color. The nose is marked with aromas of black cherry, wild berries, cassis and sweet oak. Secondary aromas of bittersweet chocolate and black pepper are noticeable. The wine is well balanced with an elegant, velvety mouth-feel and a long finish. The 1999 Sonoma County Reserve Selection Merlot is a beautifully structured wine with an ideal of balance of richness and finesse. Enjoyable now, but it will further reward with patience and cellaring, revealing even more nuances.

Matanzas Creek Winery Cabernet Sauvignon

The 2001 Cabernet Sauvignon is a blend of fruit from the Knights and Alexander Valleys. It displays complex, dusty, youthful flavors of violets and berries. Eighteen months of aging in French oak have produced supple tannins contributing to a refined, consistent structure, tempting immediate consumption. However, this wine is likely to continue to improve for the next ten years.

Matanzas Creek Winery Syrah

The 2000 Syrah is the fourth release of this classic Rhone style varietal. The Syrah fruit sourcing is 87% Bennett Valley, with a small percentage coming from the Russian River Valley. After crushing, the wine was fermented in stainless steel tanks and transferred to French oak barrels to complete malolactic fermentation for a total of 11 months aging. The wine is true to its heritage with deep dark purple coloring and lush blackberry and cherry flavors. A delicious nose packed with toast, chocolate, cedar and pepper. Light tannins soften and gently give way in the finish. This wine is full bodied and will ensure productive aging.