Steve Matthiasson’s career as a vineyard manager (for some of the heaviest hitters in the Napa Valley wine industry) and his wife Jill’s equally accomplished experience as an orchardist bind them to the country where they live in ways that city folk like us will never understand. With all of the acclaim that they have rightfully earned for their wines, to us their greatest achievement remains however it is that they have managed to include their relationship to the land across the palates of their wines. Our first encounter with a Matthiasson masterpiece was the 2010 Napa Valley White Wine, a cepage of Bordeaux and Friulian varieties that was so uniquely personal and utterly delicious that we nearly forgot how to walk. As their star has risen, the wines have understandably grown more difficult to obtain, but they remain remarkably affordable given their astounding quality, and Kickshaw looks forward to offering you as many Matthiasson wines as you can carry. Or that we can carry for you.
2014 Matthiasson “Linda Vista” Chardonnay, Napa Valley
Opinion presented as fact: the ocean of Californian chardonnay in the market is a mile wide and an inch deep. Choosing an affordable and reliably food-friendly one is like pulling a needle from a stack of needles and then sticking it in your arm. And then a wine like Linda Vista comes along and our grumples go away. In 2011, Steve and Jill Matthiasson leased the Linda Vista vineyard behind their house in the West Oak Knoll region of Napa, an area of the valley deemed too cold for cultivation of red varieties. Cooling winds off the San Pablo Bay carry acidity to the fruit, and balance the fleshy fruit of the wine. This is what chardonnay actually tastes like.