2014 Three Wine Company Mataro Spinelli Vineyard

2014 Three Wine Company Mataro Spinelli Vineyard

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A past Wine Access story about 2014 Three Wine Company Mataro Spinelli Vineyard

Terrifically aromatic, with a lavish mix of black cherry and black raspberry fruit, licorice, and violets, tinged with new-wood cedar and sweet baking spice

A Historic Vineyard and a Master’s Touch

In the mid-’80s, Matt Cline made a big discovery — a 5-acre parcel of Mourvèdre that had been planted on Delhi sandy loam more than a century ago, east of the San Francisco Bay. In 2014, those 130-year-old, drought-stricken vines eked out the tiniest of grapes. From them, Matt produced a masterwork of deep berry concentration, richly layered and amazingly light on its feet. The good news: I walked the vines with Matt last summer, and the historic parcel continues to thrive. Even better: $34 on release, the 2014 Three Wine Co. Mataro Spinelli Vineyard is just $19.99 for Wine Access clients.

It’s the secret ingredient in Xavier Vignon’s Châteauneuf-du-Pape “Anonyme” and the essence of Beaucastel’s “Hommage à Jacques Perrin,” Robert Parker’s 100-point elixir. When Mourvèdre vines — what the Spanish call “Mataro” — are long in the tooth, and the soil is fine and sandy, no variety combines such a combination of dark-red-fruit voluptuousness and chameleon-like complexity.

Back in the mid-1980s, when Matt Cline discovered a 5-acre Mourvèdre parcel improbably planted on Delhi sandy loam east of the San Francisco Bay, he was intrigued. On a whim, he locked into a few tons of small-berry fruit drawn from gnarly vines that spider close to the ground to protect themselves from the bay breeze. At harvest, there were just a few clusters per plant, barely a ton and a half per acre. We remember that first Mourvèdre wine from Spinelli Vineyard. It wasn’t just good; it was spectacular.

In the years to come, Matt would fashion some of the greatest Zinfandels on the coast, single-vineyard bottlings from old-vine Contra Costa sites named Bigelow, Mazzoni, and Live Oak. But few knew that Cline, just like Beaucastel and Vignon, was sprinkling his secret old-vine Mataro all over those high-end Zins, providing silken texture, high-toned red-fruit intensity, and ethereal aromatic delicacy.

Twenty years later, when Matt and his wife Erin launched their own boutique brand called Three Wine Company, they decided to pay a special tribute to Spinelli. In the 2014 growing season, the third in a series of four drought vintages on the North Coast, Matt again crafted a few hundred cases of pure Mataro off that 5-acre patch, making for a rare old-vine American red that combines New World bombast with Beaucastel complexity. Matt was nice enough to earmark 100 cases for Wine Access clients, but they won’t last long.

Jonathan Cristaldi

Editor-in-Chief, Wine Access

Customer Ratings

Based on 106 ratings

I absolutely adore this wine and most every other Three Wine vintage I've purchased through Wine Access, especially the Evangelho. I'm a sucker for old vine wines and the heirloom lots that Three Wine company managed to rescue from the bulldozer are truly a treasure.

Perhaps my favorite everyday red; smooth, complex, lots of wild berry flavors and some earthy undertones.

Impressive wine, very complex fruit. Cool to think of 120+ year old vines!

Still a bit tight but more open than previously. Iron notes on the finish detract.

About 2014

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