Keeping Our Traps Shut
2010 Three Carignane Lucchesi
Totally awesome wine. Rich, thick, and chewy. A full-bodied real "man's" wine. Excellent...
-- Michael from Williamsport, PA
2010 Three Mataro Spinelli
This wine blew away guests at a recent holiday dinner party. The Three Mataro complimented the Cioppino perfectly. The wine was tastefully extracted, with a pleasant mouthfeel and long finish. This must be the best new world Grenache available, certainly the best in the Americas.
-- Jim from Napa, CA
2010 Three Zinfandel Evangelho
Cracked the first bottle of my case to test a few weeks after it arrived and I am happy to say it met my expectation. I gave it a 90 and expect much more once the wine settles down from travel and I'm sure some more bottle age will only benefit it
-- Phil from Cleveland, TN
We've often been told that we don't know when to shut up. Maybe now, it's time to start listening.
In 1982, with degrees from Berkeley and Cal Davis in his back pocket, Matt Cline would be the first to recognize the world class potential of Oakley. A few months later, Cline established a beachhead, entering into several handshake agreements, many with descendants of the immigrant families who lay claim to ancient vineyards that bore an uncanny resemblance to those of Chateauneuf-du-Pape and Barossa.
"When I first came to Oakley, it wasn't anything like today. Urban sprawl hadn't made its way over the Bay. Except for a few gas stations and some middle class housing, the vineyards had been left intact, and I had the pick of the litter."
It wouldn't take long for young Cline to realize that while San Francisco was shrouded in summer fog, Oakley was baking in the east Bay sun. The vines were already 80+ years of age with roots that spidered meters underground, quenching their thirst on deep spring rainfall reserves. Still, the coolest spots were clearly the best. Over the course of a half-dozen years, Matt secured parcels closest to the bay where the summer gusts mitigated scorching heat, each year hoping that Nature would extinguish Contra Costa's heat lamp.
"I knew that it could never be cold enough in Oakley," Matt told us over lunch at Mustards last week. "If ever we could enjoy a truly mild summer in Contra Costa, a growing season with no risk of blister or burn, I thought we'd shock the wine world. It took thirty years, but finally in 2010, we got just that."
For those of you who have filled your cellars with Matt's top-of-the-line single vineyard ancient vine 2010s, you know all about the deep, dark color of the vintage, the extravagant concentration, but even more importantly, the sensational persistence and vibrancy of that cool summer. The chilliest summer in recent North Coast history would be followed by a turquoise sky September. Just as the Giants made their World Series run, Matt would hand-harvest the most physiologically mature 100-year-old-vine clusters of his career. From that moment forward, the winemaker who many now consider to be the greatest Zin-master in northern California, would make no mistake.
Last year, the good news would be that each of Matt Cline's single-vineyard 2010 offerings lit up the WineAccess scoreboard like never before, garnering 34 perfect 5-star ratings. But with the good came the bad. It seems that our membership has a nasty habit of passing our stories around. The more we extolled the virtues of the cool summer of 2010, the more we directed Bay Area enthusiasts to the Three tasting room in Clarksburg. Next time, trust us, we'll keep our traps shut!
2010 Three Wine Company Carignane Lucchesi Vineyard Contra Costa County
"Deep purple/black to the edge, with lush aromas of blueberry and black fruit preserves, laced with sweet herbs and violets. Rich, soft and voluminous on the attack, with tremendous density, all cloaked in cool vintage velour. Drink now for all the primary fruit hedonism, or lay this one down for a decade, allowing the ancient vine underpinnings to carry the day. Superb."
-- WineAccess Travel Log
2010 Three Wine Company Mataro Spinelli Vineyard
"Deepest purple. Exotic aromas of crushed red fruits, raspberry liqueur, thyme and underbrush. Dense, chewy and massively concentrated on the attack, packed with raspberries, dark plum and black cherries, still perfectly light on its feet -- speaking volumes to these incredible 125-year-old plants and the textbook low pH vibrancy of the variety. Drink now for its primary fruit hedonism, but don't be afraid to lay this one down for 10-15 years."
-- WineAccess Travel Log
2010 Three Wine Company Zinfandel Evangelho Contra Costa County
"Deep purple/black to the edge with piercing aromas of crushed blackberries and violets, the attack is richly chiseled and Claret-like -- absent any of the dry fruit overtones that mar so many Zins. In the coldest year on record, these 120-year-old vines eked out a tiny, juicy, small berry crop, providing for a mesmerizing mix of blueberry preserves and ripe cassis, all bracketed by fine, dusty, ancient-vine tannins. Drink now for its youthful opulence or do as Matt Cline suggests: Lay this one down for a decade. It could use the rest."
-- WineAccess Travel Log