Barberry Garden

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Rollaball - 2020


3.9 / 5.0

France » Vin de France
rose still, dry
Mourvedre, Carignan
1548 UAH, 24 EUR
1 bottles
Matassa Rollaball 2020


3.9 / 5.0750 ml@Wix Kyiv Office

Nice, juicy and easy going wine. Wild strawberry, sour cherry, marzipan, white pepper, peach and hints of acetone. Not really red, not really rosé. Not overly complicated, but tasty and fresh medium-bodied thingy.

3.9 / 5.0750 ml@Yellow Place Letka

Rollaball falls into one of my favourite categories - quaffable, juicy yet interesting wines. The only real issue with this wine is that it ends treacherously. Something in-between rosé and red wine. Red currant, white pepper, medicinal herbs, red apple and subtle hints of VA. Great acidity, fresh, well balanced. Aftertaste is long and delicious. No really, I just want more.


At a glance

  • Tom Lubbe, hailing from New Zealand, refined his winemaking approach in South Africa, where he embraced natural techniques and an appreciation for Mediterranean varieties. His journey led him to Roussillon, where at Matassa, he's renowned for championing minimal intervention and authentically expressing the unique terroir.
  • Nestled near the Pyrenees in Roussillon, Matassa is cradled by a mosaic of schist, marl, black slate, and black marl, setting a dramatic stage for the vines to thrive directly on the mother rock — a stark contrast to the topsoil-centric vineyards of neighbouring Languedoc. The domaine's treasure is its venerable vines, some witnessing over a century, and a diverse palette of grape varieties, including indigenous gems like Carignan and Macabeu, alongside less conventional picks, painting a complex portrait of flavours and textures.
  • The signature of Matassa's wines lies in their elegant restraint — light, approachable, yet brimming with a quiet intensity. Each bottle encapsulates a harmonious balance, offering a juicy, vibrant, and thought-provoking sip that mirrors Tom Lubbe's personal palate.

Domaine Matassa, nestled in Calce within the Val d'Agly area of Roussillon, spans about 20 hectares of naturally tended vineyards. The vines, aging from 30 to 115 years, thrive in this unique terrain, focusing on Northern Catalunya's native varieties like Grenache Gris, Maccabeu, Muscat d'Alexandrie, Lladonner Pelut (Catalan Grenache), Carignan, and Mourvedre. The result? Wines distinct for their moderate alcohol, subtle tannins, and understated oak, marked by vibrant acidity and a profound mineral freshness.

The driving forces behind Matassa are Tom Lubbe, his spouse Nathalie Gauby, and Sam Harrop MW. Tom, a New Zealander with roots in South Africa, was mentored by Louise Hofmeyer, whose devotion to indigenous yeasts and restrained yields influenced him greatly. His curiosity about Mediterranean varietals led him to Domaine Gauby in Calce, where a brief stint in 1999 evolved into a deeper engagement, thanks to Gérard Gauby's camaraderie.

It was here, amidst the vines, that Tom and Gérard's sister, Nathalie, forged a bond, leading to marriage and the decision to lay down roots in Roussillon, giving life to Matassa in 2003 (after giving life to their first child). Their humble beginnings saw their first vintage crafted in their living room, a situation that prompted Gérard to generously offer the old Gauby cellar in 2004.

Matassa's wines are a testament to evolving practices. The vineyards, organically certified by Ecocert, eschew chemical treatments, focusing instead on cover crops that (according to Tom) have notably decreased the alcohol content from 13.5% in 2005 to 10.5% in 2018. Early harvesting, particularly of Muscat in August, and the flourishing insect life enhancing soil health, are credited (by Tom) for the nuanced flavors in their wines.

In the cellar, changes are equally pronounced. All wines are now labeled Vin de France to be free from the regulatory shackles, embracing unconventional methods like skin maceration for whites, following "Alexandria" 2008, his first macerated white; and prioritizing whole-cluster infusions over maceration for reds. Oak, if used, is for aeration, not structure, and longer elevage is bypassed in favor of capturing the wine's inherent essence sooner.

Matassa's influence extends beyond its bottles. As a beacon in the winemaking community, it attracts and mentors the next generation of vintners, all drawn by Tom Lubbe's legacy and expertise.