Matchbook Arsonist Red Blend 2018
This is a big-flavored wine that pairs well with the richness of grilled lamb chops or a well-marbled rib-eye steak.
Blend: 52% Petit Verdot, 26% Malbec, 22% Cabernet Sauvignon
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Composed of 52% petit verdot, 26% malbec and 22% cabernet sauvignon, this channels the mildly herbal savor of those varieties. Scents of licorice, fennel and mace give the impression of California Coast Range native scrub. Adorned with dark, macerated plum fruit, it has plenty of tannins to finish. An uncharacteristically complex and exotic quaffer—for a song.Best Buy
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 is a winemaking colossus; by itself it is the fourth largest producer in the world. Red wine accounts for 56% of the total by volume, and red grapes 63% of total acres planted. In addition, a number of California red wines are heralded as being among the most prestigious and sought-after wines in the world.
While the state’s incredibly diverse geography, soils and microclimates allow for a wide array of styles, the key factor unifying California red wine is the abundance of sunshine and a long, consistent growing season. This leads to well-developed fruit marked both by impressive ripeness and balancing acidity.
The state’s most famous red wine region, of course, is Napa Valley, where Cabernet Sauvignon reigns as king. But California boasts a wealth of other impressive appellations. The much larger and climatically varied Sonoma County also produces world class California Cabernet, along with wonderful examples of California Pinot Noir and Zinfandel.
Fine versions of Cabernet and Zinfandel hail from Paso Robles as well, which is also gaining fame with Rhone varietals like Syrah and Grenache. As for Pinot Noir, terrific examples can be found from AVA’s such as Anderson Valley, Carneros, Santa Lucia Highlands and Sta. Rita Hills. Wineries in Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo Counties are making wonderful Syrahs, and the Sierra Foothill appellations are proving to be an experimental hotbed, with Italian and Spanish varietals employed to great effect.
This of course is a mere sketch. The subject of California red wine is as deep and broad as an ocean, and absolutely a joy to explore!