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Matthews Estate
by
Kathy Sullivan

Matthews WinerySummary: Matthews Estate in Woodinville, Washington prefers producing fewer varietal wines and concentrating on the quality of the wine. Aryn Morell, winemaker, frequently visits the vineyards where the grapes are sourced. He wants to guide the development of the grapes for harvest and produce quality wines.

Matthews Estate located in Woodinville was established in 1993. The first commercial vintage was 1994. The winery and tasting room are located in the same facility.

Matthews Estate is situated on an eight-acre piece of property. In addition to the winery and tasting room, visitors can discover the bed and breakfast in the Estate House. Public and private events take place at the Estate House. Public events include “Jazz on the Green” and “After Hours.” Private event options include birthdays, anniversaries and corporate meetings.

We met Aryn Morell, the winemaker for Matthews Estate. He was enthusiastic about winemaking. Aryn believes in the strong connection between vineyards and wineries. He believes that winemakers should be communicating with the vineyardists in regard to the leaf pulling and other vineyard practices that can affect the unique characteristics of the harvested grapes.

Aryn studied chemistry in college. He credits his brother, a chef in Napa Valley, who suggested that Aryn become involved in winemaking. Aryn visited Napa, decided to stay, and worked for wineries. Eventually he settled in Washington and started making wines at Matthews.

In 2010, Matthews Estate is producing 4,400 cases of wine with 75% of the wine sold directly from the tasting room. Considering the size, this is a good amount of wine to be producing at this winery.

Matthews WineryMatthews WineryThe winery is in the same building as the tasting room. Stainless steel tanks and oak barrels ferment and age wine. New ideas are sometimes a revisit to the past. Aryn showed us some egg-shaped cement tanks that he uses to ferment some of the wines. Cement was used thousands of years ago by the Romans to make wines. Today they are becoming popular in France and some regions in California. These cement tanks come in a variety of shapes: eggs, pyramids, squares and ovals. Like wood they allow small amounts of oxygen to come in contact with the wine. On a continuum, Aryn would place them between wood barrels and stainless steel tanks.

 

Wines

Matthews WineryWhile in the tasting room we tasted three wines. The first was the Sauvignon Blanc 2009 Columbia Valley AVA. The aroma offered citrus notes with hints of tropical fruit. The taste had citrus, mineral and peach nuances. The crisp finish had fruity and mineral notes. The wine was fermented sur lie. Claret 2007 was a dark purple with a light purple rim. The Claret was a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc with a splash of Malbec and Syrah. The aroma was of black fruit especially black cherry. There were black cherry and blackberry nuances on the taste. The finish was bold with chewy tannins and fruity. The third wine was Red Wine 2005 that was a red color produced with a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petite Verdot. The Red Wine offered an aroma and taste of black fruit. The fruity finish had chewy tannins.

Matthews Estate wants to make better wines at a better price for the consumer. They want to compete in a market that is selling wines at twice the price. Enjoy a tasting at the Matthews Estate and if you have time visit the Estate House.

Matthews Estate Winery
16116 140th Place NE
Woodinville, Washington 98072

GPS: N47º 44.636’ W122º 08.788’

 


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