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Matassa

Tom Lubbes Matassa is an exceptional winery. Although only founded in 2003, it is one of the icons of the natural wine movement.

Read here the entire winemaker portrait of Matassa

Tom, a New Zealander who grew up in South Africa, found his oenological raison d'être and also his love in Roussilon. The Matassa estate produces wines from the traditional Catalan grape varieties: Carignan, Mourvèdre, Grenache (mainly Lladonner Pelut, the old Catalan "clone" of Grenache), Grenache Gris, Muscat d'Alexandrie and Muscat de Petits-Grains. The vines are often in mixed set, especially in the very old vineyards. In total, 20 hectares are planted on slate, marl, black shale and black marl soils. Tom still farms some of the very low yielding old vines around the village of Calce, but he has expanded heavily into other areas where yields are a little more generous, typically in the 25/30 hl/hr range (still relatively low for the region).


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The vineyards are cultivated in a natural way without any chemical aids. The winery strictly relies on soil greening, which leads to rich insect life (especially worms) in the soil. An interesting effect: the drastic decrease in alcohol content. Tom has always harvested much earlier than most, usually starting with the Muscat in early August. In 2005, the wines typically reached 13.5% alcohol. In 2018, they came in at 10.5%.

The white wines are all macerated on the skins. For red wines, maceration and extraction are preceded by whole cluster infusion, with white grapes often co-fermented. When oak is used, it is not to add structure to the wine, but oxygen. The wines are bottled without filtration or fining. Since the 2015 vintage, no sulfur has been added at all.

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