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Matassa Blanc Vertical




Boris Buliga

Just a curious opportunity to taste multiple releases of Matassa Blanc.

It's always fascinating to see how a wine develops in the bottle. Too often, we open wines before they are ready, missing out on the potential complexity and depth that patience can reveal. Vertical tastings provide an excellent opportunity to observe the positive or negative effects of ageing on a wine.

Low-intervention wines, like those from Matassa, add an extra layer of intrigue to this process. The unpredictable nature of these wines means that their evolution in the bottle can be both risky and exciting. Having enjoyed Matassa wines on several occasions, we know they are consistently drinkable and enjoyable.

Matassa Blanc, a blend of Grenache Gris and Macabeu from 95-year-old vines growing on schist, is Tom's top white wine. Notably, it is the only white not produced and named after a single vineyard. The Grenache Gris undergoes whole-cluster direct press, while the Macabeu is macerated for two weeks. The wine is then pressed, racked, and blended into a 2100L foudre for fermentation and ageing, where it remains on the lees until bottling.

In this vertical tasting, we explore different vintages of Matassa Blanc, delving into the intricacies of how this exceptional wine evolves over time.

🏅 8th3.76100.02000
950 UAH
🏅 7th3.85760.00890
1,497 UAH
🏅 5th4.04240.01281
2,303 UAH
🏅 4th4.04920.00560
2,231 UAH
🥉 3rd4.16780.02474
2,231 UAH
2,146 UAH
🥈 2nd4.17290.01334
2,151 UAH
🏅 6th3.95590.00670
1,468 UAH
🥇 1st4.47350.03690
1,390 UAH

This tasting was undeniably engaging and full of surprises. We kicked off with a welcome drink enjoyed blind. While not the most traditional way to start a tasting, "I Wish I Was a Ninja" by Testalonga is a delightful pet-nat that shines when tasted blind. Its intriguing blend of sweetness and sharp green acidity creates a striking effect. Despite its simplicity, it's incredibly enjoyable to drink. Watching some participants anticipate a trick, possibly a sparkling sake, added an amusing twist to this experience. I love tricking people.

Next, we moved on to the subtly sparkling Rollaball from Matassa, providing an excellent backdrop to discuss Tom Lubbe's fascinating journey through the world of winemaking.

The highlight of the evening was, of course, the Matassa Blanc. We discovered two distinct styles - one clearly macerated and intense, the other delicate and nuanced. When the first bottle of the latter style appeared, we initially joked about possible storage issues or vintage variations. However, when the 2014 vintage exhibited the same characteristics, it was evident there was a deliberate pattern. This prompted us to think that asking Tom directly might shed some light on this intriguing difference.

A disappointing moment came with the 2016 vintage, which was corked. This unfortunate flaw prevented us from evaluating it, and with no direct replacement on hand, we turned to a Brutal Orange from Macabeu. While bright and expressive, it lacked the unique intrigue of the Matassa Blanc.

In a spontaneous twist, I had brought along a special bottle that piqued everyone's interest. We opened a stunning Champagne, Réserve Perpétuelle from Dehours & Fils, covering vintages from 2013 to 2016. With nearly three years on the lees and disgorged in March 2021, this wine was in spectacular form and undoubtedly the highlight of the evening. It left us all craving more.

To extend the celebration, we opened a bottle from Frick. Sadly, it failed to impress, continuing a recent trend of underwhelming experiences with this producer.

In conclusion, while the tasting might not have showcased the best selection of wines, it offered a rare chance to explore the vertical evolution of Matassa Blanc. In my opinion, this wine benefits from a bit of patience but doesn't need prolonged ageing to be appreciated fully.

P.S. Find out more about Matassa and Tom Lubbe on a dedicated page.

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  • Matassa '21 Uncorked – Matassa wines are irresistibly tempting! And look, all of them are of 2021 vintage or older.

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