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Wine of the Week: Paul Mathew 2010 Ruxton Pinot Noir

Paul Mathew 2010 Ruxton Pinot Noir - Sonoma County

The Sonoma County grape harvest of 2010, two and a half years on, is still coming back to us in delicious, liquid form. That’s one of the great things about wine, from a winegrower’s perspective, especially.

The results even of difficult, heartbreaking, sooner-over-the-better years turn out, after months of being quietly stashed in the corners of a cool cellar, to bring a little more joy to the heart than expected.

In any case, the 2010 Pinot Noir at Paul Mathew Vineyards seems to have turned out, via winemaker and assistant Mat and Barb Gustafson’s low-input, natural yeast fermentation regime, pretty well.

Their 2010 Ruxton Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir ($45) is the biggest, most brooding of the four they have on offer this year at their new tasting room in “downtown” Graton.

Aromas of allspice, coriander, and oily oak hint at a smoky, campfire component, while sour black cherry flavors are reminiscent of some Italian wines. The woodsy oak element still needs some time to integrate, but there’s fruit brooding in those woods, too; not jammy, but silkier than expected, it’s a wine for contemplative sipping, or pairing with your heartier, spiced dishes. Just 13.5 percent abv.


Lamb Meat Loaf

From Paul Mathew Vineyards
Serves three to four


  • 1 lb. ground lamb
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 2 shallots, finely diced
  • 4 Tbsp ketchup
  • 2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh mint
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper


Preheat oven to 350F. Combine all the ingredients and knead the mixture with your hands until everything is well blended. Do not overmix. Lightly grease a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan. Fill the loaf pan with the lamb mixture, mounding the top. Place on a baking sheet and cook until the temperature in the center reaches 160F, about 50 to 60 minutes. Pour off excess fat and let stand for 15 minutes before serving

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