Taking a run at “The Prisoner” Matt Cline pushed the envelope on ripeness in 2014.
Since 1982, when he discovered the 130-year-old vines of Contra Costa — Matt Cline has crafted some of the most intensely concentrated if classically structured single-vineyard reds in the New World. In 1998, a young winemaker named Dave Phinney followed Cline’s lead, launching “The Prisoner,” drawn from the same Contra Costa vineyards. “The Prisoner” — a deeper, darker, blend — burst out of the gate like a racehorse and never looked back. In 2012, the first of Napa’s exceptional drought years, Cline decided to “take a run at ‘The Prisoner!’” as he told us. Wine Enthusiast just dropped 92 points for all its “wonderful richness.” And Matt called us with a little holiday bonus: 100 cases at $29.99 per bottle — 32% off the release price.
For CMZ (Cabernet Sauvignon, Mataro, Zinfandel), Matt Cline’s most powerful red wine ever, he pushed the envelope like never before on natural sugars and ripeness from three sites: Suscol Creek, a meticulously farmed Napa Cabernet site at the base of the Vaca Mountains, the 100-year-old Mourvèdre Spinelli Vineyard, and the 125-year-old Evangelho Vineyard Zinfandel. The results speak for themselves. Wine Access clients rated Cline’s hedonistic 2012 at 4.2 stars out of 5. In 2013, it was 4.3 out of 5! Will it go 4.4 or more out of 5? You’ll be the judge.
Another warm, dry winter and spring led to a third-straight early bud break on California’s North Coast in 2014. Again, flowering went off without a hitch under perfect conditions. While the sun shined brightly during 2014’s summer months, temperatures remained mild, making for a large, uniform set of small-berry clusters.
Just as vines began to show the first signs of hydric stress in September, several well-timed showers refreshed the Cabernet Sauvignon at Suscol Creek, along with Cline’s ancient-vine Mourvèdre and Zinfandel. The call to harvest came early. Sugars were sky-high, the equivalent of 2012, while acids were firm and tannins nearly as sturdy as the fabulously age-worthy 2013s. But Matt pushed the envelope, harvesting into the late days of October taking a run at Dave Phinney’s “The Prisoner.” See for yourself.
Full interesting. Great wine at this price point
Great wine value. Very hearty and full bodied.
Does give Prisoner a run...
Very rich and smooth. Really enjoying this blend. Great fruit aromas lead up to the great flavors and lush mouth feel.
Clear Deep red slow course legs nice berry & cherry bouquet rich berry cherry & spice with smooth finish. Very nice wine but have found similar quality at 30% lower price.
Big, bold, red blend. A little younger than I expected, but it opened nicely in the glass Matt Cline's wines never disappoint!
That is a good wine,perhaps better next year. The ratings are about right
Very strong and can taste all of three grapes pretty well. Not good with food, but good without foods before going to bed.
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