A New Zealander who grows up in South Africa becomes a cult icon of the natural wine world. It's a fascinating and worldly origin story but important to note because his interest in low intervention winemaking starts at the beginning of his story and not later on, like many other winemakers. After a stint at the nearly mythical Domaine Gauby, Tom Lubbe decides to stay in the south of France to launch Domaine Matassa. The vines at this estate are seriously old (with some dating back to 1895!!!) and are seriously gnarly looking - twisted and knotted, curling up from the Earth like a mangled claw. The results are an otherworldly lineup of wines that are some of the most iconic and sought after in the world.
The Ace of Spades is a classic alliance of old vines Carignan and Mourvedre, forming a rare and thought-provoking blend from Lubbe. The name of the wine refers to the dark soils of the Les Myrs vineyard, high in the Roussillon hills. This is meaty, gamey, dark fruited and almost haunting in its quality. And just when you think you've wrapped your head around it, you're jolted by the raw, natural bull-like energy and drive of this bottling. Blueberry, blackcurrant, leather, smoke. Rockets!
Pairs with heartier poultry, roasted pork and braised veal dishes. Or give it a go with more exotic offerings like Massaman curry, Chinese 5-spice duck or Tikka Masala (or its veggie cousin Paneer Tikka).