Once & Future 2020 Mataro, Oakley Road, Contra Costa County
Item Number: 18053
Sub Region: Central Coast
Appellation/AVA: Contra Costa County
Estate Grown Wine: No
Vineyard Designation: Oakley Road Vineyard
Type: Wine - Red
Bottle Size: 750 ml
Total Acidity: 5.6 g/L
Viticulture: Practicing Organic
Soil Type: Sand
Case Production: 277
Grower Notes: "Tom Del Barba is a fourth-generation digger of the Delhi sands of Oakley. His great-grandfather, Venzano, from Lucca, would be impressed with how his family has stayed attached to the land. Tom and his 85-plus-year-old father, Fred, still work together in the vineyards. Tom is a bit cynical about the urban sprawl occurring in Oakley, but like the vineyards he farms, he is resilient and will continue to care for his family history and heritage until it no longer makes sense." - Joel Peterson
Tasting Notes: Ripe cherry, wild herbs, vanilla, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, lush and round
Terroir Notes: The soils at Oakley Road Vineyard are so sandy that early growers in this region were disparaged as "sandlappers." Little did they know that the delta sands, with their Phylloxera inhibiting properties, would be the key to the survival of some amazing 100-plus-year-old, own-rooted, non-irrigated vines. The micro climate of Oakley allows grapes to ripen early. It is not so much that it is hot during the growing months—the average temperature is about 74 degrees with the nights in the 50s and the days in the 90s during the month of July and August—but that the sandy soils warm earlier in the year than most other areas in California, and vine growth starts sooner. As the season progresses, the grapes continue to ripen consistently in spite of the cooling maritime winds from the Carquinez Strait, due to the reflected sun from the Antioch sandy soils.
The resulting wines can be, in a word, graceful. The combination of own roots, old vines, deep sandy soils, and cooling afternoon breezes seems to encourage gentle, suave wines. Some winemakers like to make big, powerful, dark wines from these grapes; Joel believes the wines are much more enjoyable, interesting, complex, and finer when picked earlier.
About Mataro: Mourvedre, the famous grape of Bandol, is known by the name Mataro in California. The Mataro grape has been planted in California since the 1870s, mostly as an adjunct in blends that were Zinfandel dominated. Though scarce, Mataro is an exceptional standalone grape in a few places. One of those is Oakley. The climate conditions are perfect for slow ripening grapes like Mataro. The smoky, soft cherry, plum flavors are well developed and full, with the acid perfectly balanced and the tannins soft and round.