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Flat front label of wine

Matchbook Arsonist Red Blend 2012

Bordeaux Red Blends from California
  • TP90
  • WE90
13.8% ABV
  • WE91
  • WW90
  • WE90
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13.8% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Dense, lush and ripe, the Arsonist 2012 Red Blend is the ultimate reminder that, sometimes,it's perfectly fine to play with fire. A deep garnet red, this blend approaches with strong chocolateand toast aromas—barrel oak, caramel, ripe black cherries and cassis. Flavors of bramblyblackberry and coffee lead to a long, lingering mocha finish. The Arsonist is a big, chewy winewith firm tannins that take a long ride on the palate. Pair with baseball-cut steak, barbecuedbabyback ribs or bacon-wrapped filet mignon.

Critical Acclaim

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TP 90
Tasting Panel
Velvety and juicy with smooth, lush blackberry and plum; deep, rich and balanced; long and dense, supple and spicy; chewy and ripe with hints of cinnamon. 52% Petit Verdot, 24% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Merlot.
WE 90
Wine Enthusiast
Harmony and a sense of reserve mark this rich but alarmingly named wine. It is deeply colored, smooth and supple in texture, and filled with satisfying but not too powerful flavors that are supported by fine-grained tannins. Lush blackberry and black cherry linger on the finish. Editors' Choice.
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Matchbook

Matchbook

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Matchbook, California
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East of Napa, Left of Center: The Giguiere family embodies Dunnigan Hills winemaking. In 1981 they pioneered grape growing in this region when they planted their first vineyard. By 1993, they had succeeded in creating the Dunnigan Hills as a nationally recognized American appellation. The Matchbook flame is an homage to the Giguiere brothers’ youthful fascination with fire. Today, Matchbook Wine Company produces wines showcasing the varietals that perform best in their Northern California climate. 

California

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Responsible for the vast majority of American wine production, if California were a country, it would be the world’s fourth largest wine-producing nation. The state’s diverse terrain and microclimates allow for an incredibly wide-ranging selection of wine styles, and unlike tradition-bound Europe, experimentation is more than welcome here. Wineries range from boutique to massive corporations, and price and quality are equally varied—plenty of inexpensive bulk wine is made in the Central Coast area, while Napa is responsible for some of the world’s most prestigious and expensive “cult” wines.

Just about every style of wine you can imagine is made in California, from bone dry to unctuously sweet, still to sparkling, light and fresh to rich and full-bodied. Each AVA and sub-AVA has its own distinct personality. In the Napa Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and other Bordeaux varieties dominate, as well as Sauvignon Blanc. Sonoma County is best known for Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Zinfandel. The Central Coast has carved out a niche with Rhône blends based on Grenache and Syrah, while Mendocino has found success with Alsatian varieties such as Riesling and Gewürztraminer. With all the diversity that California has to offer, it is certain that any wine lover will find something to get excited about.

Bordeaux Blends

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One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington, and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and/or Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde river, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.

In the Glass

Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines modeled after the Right Bank are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure. Wines from Bordeaux can be bold and fruit-forward or restrained and earthy, while New World facsimiles tend to emulate the former style. In general, Bordeaux red blends can have aromas and flavors of black currant, cedar, plum, graphite, and violet, with more red fruit flavors when Merlot makes up a high proportion of the blend.

Perfect Pairings

Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful, and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb, or smoked duck.

Sommelier Secret

While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include Syrah, Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, or virtually any other grape deemed worthy by the winemaker. In Australia, Shiraz is a common component.

YNG715322_2012 Item# 145436