Domaine Matassa, Olla Rouge, 2020
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.
Red and white grapes (in this case: Grenache, Grenache Gris and Macabeu) have a field day together from a single 55-year-old plot of organically farmed vines. This plays on the wild side, flirting between being a dark hued rosé or a chillable light red - your pick. Sour cherry, raspberry and forest berries leap from the glass leading you through a wild, peppery ride that finishes slightly tangy. This is juicy. And really fun to drink. But not without structure and complexity. Drink it cool.
At 11% ABV this is the perfect starting point or endpoint for a drinking lineup. It will provide salvation to your palate at the end of a day of tasting or will be the perfect warm up act for your drinking adventures. It's also right on point for finely spiced roasted or rotisserie chicken with potatoes or seared salmon plates. With its lighter style, you can also think Poke bowl or big salad vibes.