|The 2019 Matt Parish - Pilot Hill Gang, Red Blend|
Normally when I start off a review, I will talk about a particular topic that eventually will transition into the wine I am reviewing that day. Today however, I am going to get right down to business as I have a lot to talk about. Ready? Here we go. The best word to describe how I feel concerning today's wine review is, "excited". The winemaker of today's wine being reviewed is actually one which I discovered while I was reviewing (https://desertwineguy.blogspot.com/2020/01/the-desert-wine-guy-my-review-of-naked.html) the on-line wine company, Naked Wines (https://us.nakedwines.com//). While I was reviewing the company I was of course also reviewing (and enjoying) the wines they sent me for free in order to evaluate. As a part of these wines, I reviewed the 2018 Matt Parish - Tri-County, Cabernet Sauvignon (review not posted as of yet) which I gave 96 AWESOME points to.
Prior to actually getting into the wine, I want to do a couple of things though and the first thing is to remind you guys that I have no skin in the wine game, I am not beholding to anyone in the wine industry/business nor any other industry/business for that matter. I do this Desert Wine Guy stuff to educate people, because I want to help people find their next wine and because I really enjoy it. I don't care if anyone sends me stuff for free to review and while I do appreciate it, I have and will continue to call em as I see em. Having said this I would like to now talk about the second thing I want to address and that is to give a brief synopsis of the wine-making career of the winemaker for today's review wine, Mr. Matt Parish as I believe his background in the wine industry is rather impressive.
Matt "graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Plant and Microbial Sciences from Canterbury University and a Masters Degree in Applied Sciences (Viticulture and Oenology) with Honors from Lincoln University (https://azur-associates.com/about). Aside from creating wine in America, Matt has created wines in New Zealand, Australia & France as well. Matt also worked for the highly respected Wine Network Consulting located in Melbourne, Australia. "With an enviable list of clients, including boutique producers through to large multinationals, everyday was a blast. As part of a high-profile team, he provided viticulture, wine-making, and wine business advice, established vineyards, designed wineries and introduced new wine production technologies"(https://vinture.arra.biz/index.php?page=about). https://vinture.arra.biz/index.php?page=about). If you have never heard of Constellation Wines, here (https://www.cbrands.com/) is their link, I promise, you have heard of them. If you have never heard of Treasury Wine Estates Americas, here (https://www.tweglobal.com/) is their link, again, I promise, you have heard of them as well. If this wasn't enough, Matt also worked for wineries such as Beringer (Treasury Wine Estates), Stags’ Leap (Treasury Wine Estates) and Etude (Treasury Wine Estates). I could go on and on here but the bottom line is that Matt Parish is very well respected in his field and his qualifications exceed what I expected to see when I first checked out Naked Wines. If you still want more information on Matt, here (https://vinture.arra.biz/index.php?page=about) is the link that I got some of this information from. Currently not only is Matt a winemaker for Naked Wines but he is also the Managing Director, Wine-Making and Production for Azur Associates (https://azur-associates.com/) which is a marketing company for wine related businesses. If you ask me, Matt is very well qualified to be creating wines.
Now for the wine. Today I will be reviewing the 2019 Matt Parish - Pilot Hill Gang, Red Blend . The wine as an "Angel" (member) cost me $14.99 however if I weren't a member, it would have cost me $23.99. The grapes for this wine come from the El Dorado County in the Sierra Nevada foothills. The alcohol percentage of this wine is 14.5% and the bottle was cork sealed. Folks, Have you ever e-mailed a winemaker? I can tell you from my own experience that about 99% of the time, you will never get a response.
Now it is label time. Keep in mind folks that this is a red wine and in my opinion a red wine wine needs to have a red wine label. With that being said, I thought that half of the label was great while the bottom half being in white, kind of threw me off and I really didn't care for it. To me the bottom half was a distraction and kind of came out of nowhere compared to the top section of the label. As a whole I guess this label worked fairly decently overall.
Now it is time to look into this wines bouquet. As I bring the glass to my nose I get some nice and moderately juicy black cherry along with some expressive cassis. As the wine opens up a bit I get just a bit of oak but certainly nothing that can even come close to being overpowering here on the nose nor did it give off the impression that it would be overpowering on the palate. Following these particular notes up is a bit of a coffee note and as a whole and I have to tell you that the bouquet is enticing which is great as the wines nose is supposed to excite the taster and have them looking forward to tasting the wine which is something the nose of this wine certainly does for me.
|Winemaker - Matt parish|
Alright, so the above paragraph is where I left off yesterday as I certainly was able to discover some really nice notes right away but I wanted to give this wine a day to open up in order to see how it would develop. The only air allowed to enter the bottle was when I removed the stopper the day prior in order to pour a couple of glasses. As I come back to the wine today, I noticed that blackberry note had really developed even more and was displaying itself even better then yesterday. This note added to the complexity of the wine and had it elevate itself on my palate as well. As for any tannin's, they are present and could easily be confused for some other notes so you should pay attention. These tannin's are actually rather on the brambly side yet are certainly pleasant and above all, effective at giving the Tongue a super light coating and thereby elevating the entire wine profile as well. For those of you who steer clear from tannins, I don't think you will have to worry here. This wine most certainly gives off an upper-crust type impression and comes across as being an exclusive, expensive, bold & in many ways, a big red. There is also that impressive sense of a blackberry plushness I mentioned earlier that is a bit more than an underlying note as it is a nicely developed and well placed note as by the way, are all the wines other notes.
Alright everyone, let's wrap this up now. As I said earlier, This is not the first time I have reviewed a red wine by Matt and after reviewing this particular wine, it definitely won't be my last either. This is a full bodied Burgundy style red wine like to the max. Darkness is an important part of this wine and if I could relate it to an 80's music band(s) I would say it is like The Cure or Joy Division. There is no playing around here and therefore the wine stands proud to be what it is which is a very nicely crafted & most definitely serious, red wine blend. Word to the wise! Because of how the wine presents itself, I must issue a warning to those of you who are looking for an easy drinking red as this is not that wine. If you are a red wine lover who is used to what the likes of a Stags Leap, Peju or BV wineries puts out then consider this wine to have been specifically designed for you. On the other hand if you are looking for a Barefoot or Cupcake type.... red wine(?), this should not be your first, second or even last choice. On The Desert Wine Guy rating scale I am giving this wine a well deserved 94 points.
The Desert Wine Guy
P.S - While writing this review I was unable to find anything on line concerning the makeup of it as far as varietals go. As a wine reviewer I find this to be a unfortunet and it is like this with all of the wines that Naked Wines sells. As I previously said, I tried contacting Matt on Social Media with some questions and to my surprise, he actually answered me, like......right away. This is another plus for not only Matt but Naked Wines as well because this is not the first time I have contacted one of their winemakers and gotten a response and within a very reasonable time frame. Keep in mind that I am in no way getting anything from Naked wines to say these things and as I said, I am actually a member and put out the $40 each month because I really believe in the companies business model and the winemakers as well. As I went to edit this article, I actually stopped and purchased (yep, my money again) yet another case of wine from Naked Wines which includes another bottle of this particular wine (cellar time) as well as Matt's 2018 Napa Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon and the 2019 "The 24" - Contra Costa Zinfandel as well. I will keep you updated on how these wines turned out here on my wine blog.