Domaine Matassa, 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.
The Matassa Rouge is an old-vines Carignan (120 year-old vines, yo!) that evokes crunchy, crisp blue fruits and cherries with a subtext of earthiness and this hard-to-explain tension rapidly undergoing subtle transformations with each sip. But this is like having Debussy's music explained to you rather than indulging, and feeling, the emotion of it all. The finish can carry you through to the end of the year. This is a must try bottle.
Hit up Chinatown for your fave Peking duck or set yourself up with a full charcuterie plate - we're talking duck pâté en croûte, Jamón Ibérico, Bresaola, confit duck leg, coppa, and maybe even a little steak tartare, for good measure. If you're feeling extra fancy, Beef Wellington with this wine will be the highlight of the month.