So this French Canadian family moves from Quebec to California’s Central Valley over 150 years ago, in search of better land to farm. Fast forward to the 1970s when two brothers (descendants) come home from college and start a new family farm. They began growing wine grapes there in 1981, in the Dunnigan Hills, where no wine grapes had been grown before. Soon the family is growing grapes, grapes, grapes…and decides to make wine. Perhaps you’ve heard of some of their successes like Toasted Head, EXP and R.H. Phillips?

They go big, they go public, they sell — and then the family gets back to making wine again. Matchbook is one of their newer brands, along with Arsonist, Mossback and Chasing Venus. Why all the fire references? You can look that up on www.Matchbookwines.com.

This wine is the first bottling of the Matchbook estate-grown petite sirah. Earthy aromas with a hint of piquant spice. On the palate, the flavor is dark red fruit with burnt sugar, enhanced with strata of mild tannins and acidity. Easy-going, easy to drink. Character without attitude.

Pair with earthy foods: cheeses, mushrooms, lamb.

90 points – Becky Sue Epstein

WHO: Matchbook Wines

WHAT: 77% petite sirah, 17% syrah, 6% tannat

WHERE: Dunnigan Hills, California

HOW MUCH: $16 (media sample)

About The Author

Becky Sue Epstein
International Editor

Becky Sue Epstein is Palate Press’s International Editor. An experienced writer, editor, broadcaster, and consultant in the fields of wine, spirits, food, and travel, her work has appeared in many national and international publications including Intermezzo Magazine, Fine Wine & Liquor, Art & Antiques, Luxury Golf & Travel, Food + Wine, www.wine-pages.com and Wine Spectator. She began her career as a restaurant reviewer for the Los Angeles Times while working in film and television. Epstein is also the author of several books on wine, spirits, and food, including Champagne: A Global History; Brandy: A Global History, and Strong, Sweet and Dry: A Guide to Vermouth, Port, Sherry, Madeira, and Marsala.

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