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Transition Red, 2014. Metamorphosis

Transition Red, 2014. Metamorphosis

Item #: V0317R1DC
Vintage: 2014
Varietal: Transition Red (Syrah/Petite Sirah/Petit Verdot)
Vineyard/Appellation: Dunnigan Hills, California
Color: Magenta, Purple
Nose: Blackberry, Blue Plum
Palate: Ripe, Smooth
Finish: Long with Moderate Tannins
Rating: 94
Cellaring/Serving Suggestions: Now through 2020/Red Meat/Alcohol: 13.9%

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Growing up on a farm 30 miles northwest of Sacramento, young John and Karl Giguiere's fascination with fire struck fear into the hearts of their parent's and neighbors. Uncontrolled blazes, smoldering wheat fields, and regular calls to the fire department defined their childhood.Today, the name of their vineyard and winery, Matchbook, from which our selection is from, pays tribute to those formative years of kindling tender memories.

In adulthood, the talented and ambitious brothers were destined to set the world on fire, but in safer, more productive ways. In 1973, Karl, John, and his wife Lane, returned home from college to "save the family farm." Over the next 25 years, they planted 3,000 acres of vines, built a winery, and developed several extremely successful wine brands. In 1993, they also established the Dunnigan Hills AVA, which, literally, put northern Yolo County on the map as a distinct, world-class viticultural region.

This 2014 Red is comprised of Syrah (65%), Petite Sirah (20%), and Petit Verdot (15%),each harvested from the Matchbook estate and vinified separately. After being aged for one year in an assortment of oak casks, the three varieties were blended and allowed to meld in barrel for another 14 months.

The result is a luscious, youthful charmer. Layered with dark fruit and background notions of earth, mocha, and spicy vanilla, this blend offers versatility and value, without forsaking flavor intensity or heft. Atthe table, its full-figured nature and moderate tannins call for rare steaks, prime rib, or herb-encrusted lamb. Preferably given John and Karl's pyromaniacal past charred and/or well smoked.