The Palm Beach Post Swirl Girls recommended our 2007 Matchbook Tinto Rey and Extra Virgin Olive Oil in their December 16 Round-up: Reds under $20 column:
“2007 Giguiere Family Matchbook Tinto Rey, California ($17 crewwines.com) – With a deep garnet color, this blend continues the depth in its aroma of black cherry, other dark berries, dark chocolate and oak. The palate is a surprise in that there’s not as much fruit as the aroma might lead you to believe. In fact, despite that it’s a New World wine, it tastes more like an Old World with 44 percent tempranillo, 36 percent syrah, 13 percent cabernet sauvignon, 5 percent graciano and 2 percent petite syrah. The earth notes come through more than the berries, it was a bit acidic up front and finished long and dry. It’s a full-bodied, slightly tannic wine, although it did soften as the night went on. So, do yourself and the wine a favor, and let this big boy sit for an hour or more to enjoy the spicy berries and oak influences, perhaps imagining yourself picnicking amongst the hills of Spain.
Matchbook Tinto Rey Extra Virgin Olive Oil ($15 for 750 ml,crewwines.com ) – I’m not sure what constitutes proper descriptors for tasting olive oil, nor have I ever taken any tasting notes for olive oil. But when the bottle of wine sent for review from Matchbook comes with a bottle of their olive oil, well then, my duties as a Swirl Girl are extended beyond the grape. The cold-pressed oil is made from Spanish and Italian varieties grown in California, and has a deep yellow color with a green cast. It’s very fragrant, and pours from the bottle like syrup. It has good weight on the palate, a creamy texture with rich and hearty flavors, and then finishes with a pepper note. I didn’t taste the Matchbook oil against other olive oils, so I can’t say anything relative, but I can say it was delicious. I mixed it with aged balsamic vinegar for a spinach salad, and the oil coated the leaves with its flavor prominent in every bite.”
Rich Breshears, the East Oregonian Wine Guy, featured our 2007 Matchbook Tinto Rey in his December 9 column:
“The Giguiere family from Zamora, Calif. has been producing wines since 1983 under a label that they took to the moon. The R.H. Phillips brand was their baby, producing great wines such as Toasted Head and EXP. They sold to Vincor in 2000, and John Giguiere worked as CEO of Vincor until 2005.
The family started Matchbook, Mossback, Chasing Venus, and Sawbuck, which I’ve written about in other articles.
I was excited to try Matchbook’s “King,” in their 2007 Tinto Rey. This red table wine is the Giguiere’s favorite wine and I’ve been looking forward to trying it for some time. A mix of 44 percent Temperanillo, 36 percent Syrah, 13 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, 5 percent Graciano and 2 percent Petite Syrah make this wine a huge combination of Spanish and Bordeaux varietals. The Spanish varietals give off huge flavors of spicy red berries, with black cherry and blueberry coming from the Syrah, cedar and rummy tobacco runs from the flavors of the Cabernet Sauvignon, with tannic structure and pepper coming from the Petite Syrah. This wine is beautifully complicated, with aromas and flavors from beginning to the very end of the finish. Enjoy with any kind of red meat. I followed the suggestion from the winery and made lamb pops with rosemary and garlic. It was oh so good!”
The Palm Beach Post “Swirl Girls” blog recommends our 2009 Mossback Pinot Noir! Swirl Girl says our Russian River Valley Pinot “has a long, warm finish that wrapped around me like a soft cashmere blanket”. Sigh . . .
Read the entire review
“Why aren’t you relaxing on a tropical beach someplace?” We hear that question so often we are starting to believe we must have been absent during that life lesson on what to do after you sell your winery in middle age. But faced with retirement at the end of 2005, we realized that a massive amount of free time was not our life goal. We had to face the fact that we thrived on massive amounts of stress. It was the 24-year journey that we loved; the long and bumpy ride from the threat of foreclosure to the phenomenal success of Toasted Head. We had plenty of skeptics in those early days who said we could not grow quality grapes in the Dunnigan Hills and that was motivation enough to dedicate our careers to prove that we could. Through many years of trial and error, we discovered which grape clones worked in our hills, what trellising techniques and farming practices were best for our microclimate. With each new vineyard, we tried a new idea and some worked beautifully and some failed in spectacular ways. And by the end of our tenure with R.H. Phillips, we simply were not finished with everything we wanted to do in the Dunnigan Hills. Sure, we had proven that we could grow grapes and make wine that exceeded all expectations, and on a very large scale. But we had more experiments in mind on how we could improve quality in both the vineyard and the winery. Things like seeking out new varietials and honing in on the grape clones that we knew worked well in our heat; tracking down the land with the rockiest soil to improve drainage; playing around with native yeasts, punch down bins and red wine barrel ferments at the winery to extract more complex flavors. We wanted to do all this and more and still keep our wine prices right around $15. That’s the challenge and the thrill of Matchbook. And why we are still hard at it even while we find ourselves far north of middle age. As alluring as that tropical beach sounds, it’s going to have to wait; we are still having fun creating something special here in Yolo County.
New York’s TimesUnion.com recommends our 2009 Sawbuck Cabernet. They say, “Any excuse to drink this wine will do.” We couldn’t agree more! Read the review