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Walnut Creek Magazine

Mathew Bruno Napa Valley Readies for a Rutherford Debut

Jan 28, 2022 12:24PM ● By Fran Miller

By Fran Endicott Miller

Mathew Bruno. Photo: Bob McClenahan

Mathew Bruno has been producing elegant wines under his eponymous label for more than a dozen years. And soon, he and his team will have an ideal venue in which to showcase the winery’s highly regarded, single-vineyard, 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and Rosé.

Mathew Bruno Napa Valley, the winery’s first-ever hospitality destination, will open this spring. The fully renovated, historic Queen Anne Victorian that dates to 1894 will include private lounge areas, polished gardens, bocce courts, and water features. Located in the heart of Rutherford close to Rancho Caymus Inn, Elizabeth Spencer Winery, Beaulieu Vineyards, Inglenook, and the Rutherford Grill, the site will offer personalized flights that highlight the highly-regarded Matthew Bruno wines.

Mathew Bruno Napa Valley Rutherford Tasting Venue

Bruno was introduced to wine at an early age, sharing family lunches with his Italian grandparents. His appreciation grew as he began to taste alongside his father Matt, a true connoisseur. After earning his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Mathew, along with his father and brother Tony, was determined to take his passion for great wine to another level.

In his search for Napa Valley fruit, Bruno was reacquainted with former childhood classmate Stephens Moody, an accomplished second generation winemaker whom Bruno would call for advice. The two eventually joined together with the goal of producing exceptional wines from distinguished vineyards, and the Mathew Bruno wines were launched with the 2009 vintage. 

The winery’s commitment to outstanding quality is evident in everything from label design (which was created by famed label designer Chuck House and inspired by antique type face and the shade of the rock in the Cabernet Sauvignon vineyard), to the barrel regime and focus on fermentation practices and experimentation with yeast strains. Each aspect of Mathew Bruno is created with thoughtful care. 

Dr. Nichola Hall & Stephens Moody. Photo: Bob McClenahan

Focused on venerated sites, the Mathew Bruno philosophy is simple – exceptional fruit from exceptional vineyards, crafted by two exceptional winemakers, Stephens Moody and Dr. Nichola Hall. Moody honed his skills around the globe, crafting wines for boutique producers and for widely available consumer favorites. He also gained experience working in the world’s largest cooperage. His extensive relationships with key vineyard owners allow Mathew Bruno to access some of the Napa Valley’s finest fruit. Dr. Nichola Hall has an extensive background with a PhD in fermentation science, and has studied the taxonomic classification of wine yeasts.

The winery’s expanding vineyard program includes sourcing a Rutherford vineyard originally planted by Mrs. Thomas Rutherford in 1895, Stagecoach Vineyard, Beckstoffer’s To Kalon, the Baldacci Family’s Honey B Vineyard in Carneros, the Hoxsey Family’s Block House Vineyard in Yountville and Sun Chase Vineyard on the Sonoma Coast. 

Photo: Stephanie Russo

Current Releases:

2016 Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley - $120 

From a vineyard in the heart of Rutherford originally planted by Mrs. Thomas Rutherford in 1895, this single vineyard wine is pressed and racked into 100% new French and American oak barrels. After aging for 22 months in barrel, the finest lots are selected for the final blend prior to bottling. Intensely deep colored wine, with a balanced round mouthfeel, supported by supple soft tannins. Flavors of black cherries and plum are met with notes of spice and a full bodied finish. 

2018 Cabernet Sauvignon, Stagecoach Vineyard, Napa Valley - $1,200 per six-pack 

One of the most iconic vineyards in the Napa Valley, Stagecoach is home to some of the area's most coveted fruit. The rocky, volcanic terroir extends from the southern edge of Pritchard Hill overlooking Oakville to the westernmost regions of the Atlas Peak appellation. Its unmistakable terroir leads to wines with richness and intensity, and there is great demand for the celebrated fruit. So, Mathew jumped at opportunity to purchase one ton (.936 of a ton, to be exact) and create this highly limited availability offering. 

2019 Chardonnay, Carneros - $38 

From two neighboring vineyards, the Baldacci Family’s Honey B Vineyard and Beckstoffer’s Carneros Lake Vineyard, this wine features a partial barrel ferment, complete malolactic fermentation and nine months of sur lees aging in new French and American oak. Aromas of nectarines, Honeycrisp apples and vanilla, with flavors of stone fruits, pears and honeysuckles. The rich and smooth finish is complimented by hints of toasty notes and spices. 

2019 Sauvignon Blanc,Yountville - $35 

Handpicked from the Hoxsey Family’s Block House Vineyard in the heart of Yountville, which is thought to be one of the oldest vineyards in the Napa Valley, grapes were harvested at peak maturity, leading to complexity and lush flavors. Fermented in 100% stainless steel, this wine evokes aromas of honeydew melon, lemon zest and apricot. Tasting immediately reveals bursts of juicy peach, lemon and citrus and a smooth finish. 

2020 Rosé, Dry Creek Valley - $32 

Winemakers worked hand-in-hand with growers to produce an extremely limited amount the 2020 Grenache Rosé – about 100 cases. Influenced by Rosés produced in the Rhone Valley of France, it’s a beautifully colored light wine, perfect for summer drinking. It delivers a smooth tasting experience enriched by melon, strawberry and stone fruit aromas. 

Photos courtesy of Mathew Bruno Napa Valley

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