Wine of the Week: Matthiasson 2013 ‘Linda Vista’ Napa Valley Chardonnay

Steve Matthiasson is quickly becoming a household name amongst wine lovers – he is making some of the best and most compelling wines today in California. A farmer at his core, Steve Matthiasson grows many things in addition to grapes, and is a highly sought-after viticultural consultant. His list of credentials is long, and he was even called the SF Chronicle’s Winemaker of the Year.

I recently attended a trade tasting where Matthiasson was pouring his wines, and I was lucky enough to meet him and taste through his current offerings. I was particularly drawn to his Linda Vista Napa Valley Chardonnay, an affordable and beautifully balanced wine. It’s rich and flavorful, with acidity that’s balanced by body – a no-brainer for the Winelandia shop. Fermented and aged in 100% neutral French oak, from which it picked up texture and creaminess without any oak flavor (my favorite kind of chardonnay!).

The fruit comes from the Linda Vista vineyard in Oak Knoll, a plot of vines that are farmed by Matthiasson but owned by someone else. The vineyard is literally across the way from his farm, which I’m sure makes it easier to keep a close eye on the health of the vines and fruit. The care taken in the vineyard really shows in the wine, and it’s the finest example of an affordable California chardonnay that I’ve found all year.

This wine is SOLD OUT.

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Winemaker:  Steve Matthiasson
Bio: The SF Chronicle’s 2013 Winemaker of the Year and nominated for a James Beard award in 2014, Steve Matthiasson is one of Napa Valley’s top viticultural consultants. With over 20 years of experience, he is certainly no newcomer. He is known for championing Italian grape varieties in California, producing wines from grapes like tocai-friulano, refosco, and ribolla gialla. A Whittier college graduate and former San Francisco bike messenger, Steve now lives on his 5 acre Napa Valley farm with his wife and children.
Region: US>California>Napa Valley
Vineyard: Linda Vista Vineyard. Clay soil.
Blend: 100% Chardonnay
Aging: Neutral French oak
Production Notes: Whole cluster pressed, settled for 24 hours in tank, then fermented in neutral oak barrels. During aging, half of the barrels were stirred once, which added creaminess while still preserving freshness and minerality. 2/5 of the barrels were allowed to go through malolactic fermentation due to the high acidity of the 2013 harvest. Never racked, fined, or cold stabilized. Sterile filtered before bottling.
Tasting Notes: Notes of apples, stonefruits, and melon, with a slightly honeyed character and mineral backbone. Balanced and elegant, this is a great Chardonnay for a hot summer day!
Food Pairings: Roasted chicken, oysters, cheese plates.