Matt Cline’s “Melt in the Mouth” Zinfandel
The 93-point Wine Enthusiast “Editors’ Choice” 2014 Three Wine Company Bigelow Vineyard Zinfandel is a new offering from Matt Cline — but is no museum piece. You can thank Cline, the ancient-vines preservationist of Contra Costa County, for the opportunity to taste this “powerful and confidently ripe,” “full-bodied,” wine. Matt’s “melt in the mouth” old-vine Zinfandel-based blends stand shoulder-to-shoulder with giants like Paul Draper’s Ridge “Geyserville” and “Lytton Springs.” Wine Access clients have rated it 4.4 out of 5 stars, and we have another 100 cases of the few remaining in Matt’s cellars. Easily one of the greatest Zinfandels on the coast from one of California’s true heritage vineyards — a story we hope you’ll share when opening a bottle.
Thanks to Matt Cline, founder Marcus James Bigelow’s historic vines are in no danger of succumbing to the bulldozer’s blade — at least for now. These gnarled vines were in danger of being torn asunder for Contra Costa’s Bay Area real estate development magnets — like many other ancient vineyards in the area that have been uprooted in the name of progress.
If you stop by Bigelow Vineyard, you’ll see his handiwork — thick-trunks of bush-trained vines planted on Contra Costa County’s loamy Delhi sands. “Bigelow takes its name from a gentleman farmer and fiddle player named Marcus James Bigelow,” Cline told us. “Marcus planted the first vines on the property in the mid 1880s. Today, these 130-year-old vines eek out minuscule quantities of tiny, thick-skinned berries. And this is the result...”
A profoundly pleasurable red blend of 77% Zinfandel with a smattering of Petite Sirah, Alicante Bouschet, Carignane, and Mataro — all from vines that offer a window into the California wine industry of yesteryear, long before Prohibition.