A famous quote from the movie Sideways has a character warning that his date better not order any $!&## Merlot. Funny. But misguided. Merlot when done well is a joy to drink and world class wine. Three of the ninety rows at Butterdragon Hill are Merlot. Every other vintage, we have blended in the small amount of Merlot fruit into the Cabernet Sauvignon. This vintage, though, we’re going to try and keep them separate and see how it turns out.
Here is my brilliant prose from the email:
Summer is over. Alec is off for his second year of college and Sasha and Randy (in a bout of empty-nester syndrome) had a baby. A four-legged baby that is. Alec and Odie now have a 13 week old baby “brother.” Charlie is an adorable little fuzzy maltipoo. We won’t bore you with pictures in this email.
In between middle-of-the-night trips carrying the puppy to the backyard, our thoughts are starting to turn to harvest. It has been a terrific growing season in the Napa Valley and the crop at both of our vineyards is looking great. Baconbrook should be ready in just a couple of weeks and Butterdragon will follow a week or two after.
But before we start getting our hands dirty in the vineyard and winery, it’s time to release some wine. We are extremely excited to debut the 2009 Baconbrook Cabernet Sauvignon.
2009 marked the return to normalcy — if any year is normal in farming — after a challenging and low production 2008. Mild temperatures and little rain throughout the Spring and early Summer had everything looking good and moving at a comfortably slow pace. It warmed up just-in-time for veraison and the clusters colored quickly and evenly. Continued mild weather throughout August and September gave the fruit plenty of time to get ripe. Baconbrook, always the first ready to harvest, came in on September 23rd. Butterdragon Hill continued its slow maturation into October until late season rains followed by cooler weather caused a more urgent ending to what had been a fairly mellow year. We harvested Butterdragon in two picks on October 7th and October 21st.
Still very young, this wine already offers a delicious blend of cherry and raspberry flavors with currant, milk chocolate, crushed tea leaves, and sweet oak. Bold, with an extremely long finish, its polished, sweet tannins and focused acidity promise even greater days ahead. We’re incredibly proud of our 120 cases of 2009 Baconbrook.
Pricing for Baconbrook remains unchanged.
- 750ml bottles – $66
- 1.5L magnum bottles – $138
- 375ml bottles – $34
- We pay for ground shipping on orders of $400 or more.
- Orders of any size shipped to residential address will incur a $5/box surcharge assessed by the common carrier.
- Shipping should begin in mid to late October but we will hold your order until cool temperatures allow safe shipping.
Did you hear the news about our 2002 Butterdragon Hill?
In a recent blind tasting retrospective of the 2002 vintage, Wine Spectator magazine rated it among the top wines of the Napa Valley and said “this remains a voluptuous mouthful of Cabernet, even better with age. Ripe, supple and plush, with tiers of plum, black cherry and dark berry flavors, this fairly glides along the finish, ending with melted black licorice, road tar, and mocha notes, turning to dark berry themes. (94 points)”
We only made 500 cases but did hold a few cases back to be available to you now. For a wonderfully aged wine that rates among the top Napa Valley wines of the vintage, order here.
Thank you so much for allowing our wines to be part of your family’s table.
The Match Vineyards Family
A nice beni (at least wine-wise) of traveling in France is that almost every restaurant, cafe, and bistro offers nice rosé wines. It’s a category of wine too often given only cursory thought in American eateries. Perfect for a summer day, they’re flexible with food too. The first of these I enjoyed with veal piccata, the next with an omelette and veggies, the third with turkey Normandie (a slice of turkey with fresh mushrooms and cream sauce).
MATCH Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley Butterdragon Hill 2002 Score: 94 | Release price: $72 | Current price: $NA
This remains a voluptuous mouthful of Cabernet, even better with age. Ripe, supple and plush, with tiers of plum, black cherry and dark berry flavors, this fairly glides along on the finish, ending with melted black licorice, road tar and mocha notes, returning to dark berry themes. 2002 California Cabernet blind retrospective (May 2012). Drink now through 2022. 500 cases made.—J.L.
The full article is available here though you must be a subscriber to the Wine Spectator Online Edition to read it.
We have a limited amount of our 2002 Butterdragon Hill available at our online store.
Two things should be understood:
1) One of the first — and most important — things a young lad needs to learn when traveling in a foreign land is how to order a beer in the native tongue. Such knowledge will get him started on the road to enjoying his travels. (Knowing “Bitte ein Bier” helped me get started when stationed in Germany long ago.)
2) The French have an annoyingly difficult time understanding any mispronunciation of their language. In English, if a foreigner says poTAYto or poTAHto, Americans will generally get the spuds to the visitor. Not so in France. If you happen to say pAHmme instead of pOHmme, the waiter is going to look at you like you’re speaking Swahili.
The other day in Saint-Michel, Alec tried to order a beer. The waitress said “en can” and listed several brands with which we were familiar. Alec knew he preferred “bière pression” or draft beer so we asked “Quel type de bière pression? “En can” she said and repeated her spiel. No. “Pression”. “En can” she repeated. Trying our best to pronounce “Pression” correctly she again responded it was en can. Finally, giving up with a shrug of our shoulders we said to go ahead and bring it. She did. She returned with a lovely, draft pulled hEiNeKEN.
We felt like we’d just played the French version of “Who’s on First?”
Unbelievably fine… Delicate floral nose of honey suckle and sweet strawberry. Pleasantly soft before food but seems to rise with strength and flavor with the meal as the fruit bursts forth and just the right acidity bring the whole experience to a crescendo. Yes, this is a gushing, and yet non-specific note, but the overall experience of this wine defies description. If one thinks in terms of points, this is easily a 95 and probably the best wine I’ve had in a year.
The meal didn’t suck either. We were dining at La Brasserie du Sillon in Saint-Malo, Brittany, France. Expensive, slightly snooty service, but really good eats and drop-dead views of the beach, ocean, sunset (at 9:45 PM!), and the old walled city in the distance.