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Matassa, ‘Cuvee Marguerite’ Blanc, 2006

March 18, 2008

~$32US, 50% Muscat / 50% Viognier, Cotes de Catalanes, SW France

Ok – I will start by saying that I’ve never tasted anything like this – wine or otherwise. Rich golden color. Popped and sniffed and was utterly confused. Cheap corn oil, sulfur, The Holland tunnel exhaust fans, and pears. I was prepared for some funkiness, but this was insane – very little here resembling a beverage made from fermented grapes. I decanted and came back an hour later. Still funky diesel and corn oil. After 2 hours, things starting fitting together better.

At 3 hours it really started singing. The funk blew off and integrated into a pleasant smoky undertone. Dried flowers and ginger with burned lemon components…like a lemon creme brulee, slightly over-torched. Weighty on the palate – the viognier component is oily and mouth-filling yet the impression is very fresh and vibrant. Well-balanced with a fresh bias towards acidity. Sipper-and-a-thinker. Fundamentally complex and multi-layered. Apple skins, mint, citrus explosions, fruit-wood smoke and lavender. The finish is where this really becomes Impressive $?*#! Wine in my opinion. It ties all the flavors into a lemony custard, with a defined chalky minerality and salinity. So long and smooth and effortless. Food matching might be difficult with this level of complexity – I suspect firm grilled fish and strong cheeses would pair well.

Truly unique – a bizarre transformation from something almost foul to something sublime. I think the decanting fast-forwarded what good honest cellar aging can do, so I hope to procure more of this – forget about it for a decade and see what happens. Not for the meek or the impatient. But for the rest, a gift, and a great example of old-school ‘zen winemaking’ yielding staggeringly complex wines. Less is more.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. winecase permalink
    April 8, 2008 3:14 pm

    I had the same initial shock and subsequent sense of sublime wine, when I tasted Matassa wines the first time. I was fortunate enough to spend some time with Tom Lubbe at his domaine in Calce (see a href=””here and here), last fall, and I’ve become even more of a fan.

    Glad to discover your site. I will be reading more.


  1. Matassa et Three Trees: le meilleur côté du Roussillon « Le blogue Insolite

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