We live and we die by our Mataro. It is figuratively, and literally, our hero. The one that started this whole project off. It's really starting to take off as a variety as well. So much so that it's becoming hard to find the fruit in Clare. Fortunately we're set with a great resource in Norm's Block in Armagh. It feels like we got onto it just in the nick of time.
Like with our Grenache, you can really see the Clare vintage character communicated through this wine. Hand picked on 24 March, it doesn't show the abundance of dark fruit from the year before, heading instead for a firmer, more structured, red fruited style. It's vibrant, bunchy, spicy and very aromatic, with compelling Amaro-esque characters. The world needs more Amaro in it.
After being hand picked on 24 March, we filled three 1 ton fermenters each with about 30% whole bunches and 70% crushed and destemmed fruit. It was hand plunged quite hard early on before a natural fermentation began, with the juice eventually spending 35 days on skins. It was basket pressed to old French oak barrels, where it sat on its yeast lees quietly and untouched until racking and bottling in January 2017. As with all our wines this wasn't fined or filtered before bottling.
Did we nail the winemaking brief to make 'delicious' wine? We certainly think so. The bunchy aromatics give a wonderfully vibrant feel to the wine. The spicy berry fruit, with hints of pepper and earth, lends warmth and depth to the wine, while the natural acid line keeps things fresh and more-ish. We love it.
150 dozen made <> 13.6% alc / vol
12 bottles of Mataro 2016 ($35)
Dozen price: $420