Reviewer’s Note: Samples of the wines discussed here were provided at no cost in exchange for my honest review.
A pair of red wines from the Russian River Valley region of California’s Sonoma County came our way recently courtesy of Matrix Winery. We uncorked an example of the Zinfandel and one of the Pinot Noir produced by this small, family-owned winery that has earned numerous awards and dozens of medals for its wine production.
Matrix 2014 Zinfandel
Deep ruby-colored with potent aromatics, this full-bodied dry red presents a bouquet full of creamy vanilla and fresh red fruit. A bouquet fresh with strawberries and cherries and laced with subtle oak gathers along the upper rim of the glass. Near the lower rim, a juicy orange fragrance joins creamy intimations of vanilla to recall the frozen creamsicles we all enjoyed too many of during childhood summers. On the tongue, berries and citrus meld into a phantasmagoria of oranges, cherries, and candied fruit. Tannins and acidity are well-matched to the degree of fruit at play here, lending flavor complexity to a creamy in-mouth texture. Red fruit and vanilla resurface in its long, satisfying finish.
Matrix 2013 Pinot Noir
First impressions of this dry red wine’s nose will give up essences of blackberry, raspberry, and cranberry, laced with black pepper and the faintest hints of oak and barnyard along the lower glass rim. Aiming higher will reveal the aromatic likes of vanilla cream, plum preserves and playful candied elements near top rim. On the palate, its tannins are plush, smooth, and elegant. With mid-high acidity and a body on the lighter side of medium, this is a wine that finishes mid-long and pleases with berries summoned back to the palate for a final strut after swallowing.
This article first appeared on Flavorfulworld.com.