Three Wine Company 2017 CMZ Red Blend
CMZ began years ago as Matt’s challenger to The Prisoner, but the similarly robust bottling quickly distinguished itself. Hearing that folks didn't think that the current "mass produced" version of the Prisoner was as good as it used to be and he figured that he would try his hand at crafting something that utilized high quality the old vine grapes and artisan winemaking like Prisoner had when it was owned and made by David Phinney. Matt came up with CMZ - Cab from Napa blended with Mourvedre and Zinfandel from Contra Costa County - and released the inaugural vintage in 2014. For the ‘17, he says he pushed the envelope with ripeness and tweaked the blend, but still kept a careful eye on the ancient vines, picking only when the grapes showed a perfect balance of fruit depth and intricacy.
Matt sourced his Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa’s Suscol Creek Vineyard, which is planted right next to a source for Joseph Phelps Insignia. He combines these grapes with fruit from an all-star lineup of Contra Costa sites whose single-vineyard bottlings have enraptured Wine Access members: Zinfandel from the 130-year-old Evangelho Vineyard contributes deep fruit purity and spice, while Mourvèdre and Carignan from the 135-year-old Spinelli Vineyard add savory complexity. Petite Sirah from Mazzoni and Carignan from Bigelow round out the blend.
Dark-as-night color leads to a bowl of black fruit that is expressive and juicy. While all of it streaked with the evocative scent of lavender and violets. Then it’s time to hold onto your seat once you sip it. First, delivering a core of blackberry, black raspberry, and black cherry fruit. Then together laced with black pepper and European dark-berry liqueur are absolute show-stoppers.