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Community Tasting Notes (6) Median Score: 92 points

  • This was foul on opening, terrible animal dung, sulfur and some sort of volatile acid. Four trips through the Vinturi and a half night in the decanter salvaged the bottle for the following night. On night 2, a nose of barnyard in the background with some berry and evergreen notes. On the palate sulfur is still evident with a minty component from the Brett. Still has furry, barnyard back note and an unpleasant heat to it. Not undrinkable but nearly so, and a toooooottttttaaaaaallll waste of $50. Terrible value and shows why modern winemaking methods need integration with these non-interventionalists so that a stable, safe product be made.

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  • One of my favorite! Beautiful, different.

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  • Give me a break. Dog fur dipped in animal pooh is horrible and that defines this wine. I am sorry, but understanding how anyone can like or defend a defective hunk like this is way beyond my pay grade. One word....brettanomyces. YEEEUCK. 4 tasters. all wine and foodies, unanimous opinion...horrible and completely undrinkable. Dumped it out. The most egregious example of brettanomyces contamination I have experienced since a horrible run of 1999 d'Armailhac. Awful, but Seattle refunded bottle one. Beautiful...not....crappy....yes.

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  • The epitome of a garage wine. Funky, robust, organic and downright wicked. This blend is still developing beautifully with the chocolate taking a far less frontstage roll. Can't wait to hit this in 2013 or 2015.

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  • There is something so magnificent about this wine. My third bottle over the last year and the palate continues to develop and become more impressive. The chocolate from the cab franc is the overwhelming flavor profile. But the merlot keeps it mellow. I really just love this wine. I really wish my patience could hold out till this wine is really ready to be drunk, but it is too good now.

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  • By Jon Rimmerman
    4/16/2009, (See more on Garagiste...)

    (MATAKANA Providence) Matakana

    Dear Friends,

    As one of the most expensive wines produced below the Equator, Matakana remains an enigma in the Northern Hemisphere but it is one of the only true "cult" wines from New Zealand - it makes something like Felton Road seem mass produced (this wine is closer to Sleeping Giant in rarity). Protected in secrecy by its owner and revered even by those that place Mount Mary Quintet above all else, Providence Matakana makes the very short list of tertiary cerebral wines from the New World that aim to be on par with 1970's era Diamond Creek. If you are an explorer of the unknown and demand the rarest examples in the world, this is for you.

    Inspired by Cheval Blanc with a firm purpose, the goal of this wine is simple enough: to be the very best red wine in the world (seriously, the very best - not just the best from New Zealand - while that is a little far fetched, I do like a proprietor with confidence). Grown in a shroud of seclusion in the bizarre Northland appellation, 80-100kms north of Auckland (near the sub-tropical far tip of the North Island - nearly at the same latitude as Sydney), Providence winery began in 1990 and the vines have finally reached a sense of maturity with the 2002 vintage that is noticeable right from the start.

    The brainchild of James Vuletec, he has gone on to be called a "wine revolutionary" by New Zealanders while others call him a buffoon for outlandish pricing, secrecy and a closed-door policy to tastings, the public and the media. When I say "closed door" I really mean it - you can't purchase this wine anywhere in NZ except from a few of his friends (such as Daniel Kemp in Auckland, who keeps the price as low as he can, around US$100 which is as low as I've seen).

    Vinified with the best intentions from a very small, hand-tended vineyard that is raised organically - the wine sees no additions or subtractions and no cultured yeasts or enzymes. The vines are grown in a deposit of very high mineral and elemental composition that reflect the volcanic and ocean heritage of this island. Only the natural yeast of the vineyard and winery begin the process and elevage can be slow. Fermented in open-top wood and kept for a minimum of 2-3 years in barrel and bottle before release, Matakana has an exceptional track record for ageing and early 1990's vintages are still going strong (except the 1995, a vintage similar to 2002 in the Rhone - nearly a complete wash-out).

    From a blend of Cabernet Franc, Merlot and "other" varietals (which are usually a dash of Syrah and Malbec), the 2002 is the most exotic Matakana yet made. It is from a growing season akin to the 1990 vintage in Bordeaux and a well-known US critic would refer to it as "kinky". Marked by a sense of grace and in-your-face aromatics that are so complicated, the taster owes it to his or her palate to defray gustatory satisfaction (with a a focus instead on nothing but olfactory indulgence). Try to refrain from tasting the wine for 10-15 minutes and simply sniff its multitude of complexity. I believe "staggering" is not out of the question to describe the nose of this Bordeaux-inspired wine from the Northland? The palate delivers more of the same with a complete axis of harmony and inspiration that tastes as natural as it's pedigree. High priced or not, this is exciting wine.

    Due to a lack of information and no real interest in divulging any on the winery's account, this wine can be referred to as "Matakana Syrah" or by other names but they are incorrect - it is also not the Private Reserve/Providence Reserve which (despite the best intention) is considered a lesser wine and is somewhat less expensive. It is also not the "Marangai" (a term only used in the deluge vintage of 1995 - it literally means "rain" in local dialect). The wine we are offering is the top-end Matakana "Matakana" (or Matakana Merlot Blend).


    ONE SMALL SHIPMENT ONLY at this price with perfect provenance:

    2002 Providence "Matakana" (Northland/NZ)

    Thank you,

    Jon Rimmerman
    Seattle, WA

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