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I had the occasion to go to a Winemaker’s tasting at Bon Vivant on Friday evening to taste the wines of Marcus Goodfellow of the Matello (his business card says Mad Wines Company). Matello is definitely an Oregon ‘Indie’ wine – small production, lots of character, no official website and growing at a rapid pace. Goodfellow made just 186 cases with the 2003 vintage, nearly 500 cases with the 2005 vintage, just over 600 with the 2006 vintage and expects to produce over 1,000 next year.

In just three years, the 37 year-old Marcus Goodfellow has moved from waiting tables and pouring wine for patrons at the Heathman in Portland, Oregon, to pouring his own small label Pinot noir, Matello, at a James Beard dinner in New York. “I see myself with a full size winery in 2008,” remarks Goodfellow, on beating the odds in his newfound profession.

~ Portland Indie Wine Festival site

There were several Matello Pinot’s presented at the tasting:

§ Matello Pinot Noir Winter’s Hill Vineyard

§ Matello Pinot Noir Souris

§ Matello Pinot Noir Hommage A&D

§ Matello Pinot Noir Whistling Ridge


The Winter’s Hill is by far the truest of the four I sampled (in my opinion). I truly love Oregon Pinot and I liked Winter’s Hill, but I do feel there are other Pinot’s of equal quality at a lower price point.

I paired this with grilled salmon, green beans and clams. As with many good Pinot’s, Winter’s Hill paired well with salmon.

Matello Winter’s Hill stats:

$42, real cork.

Tight upon opening – really opened up after about 30 minutes in the decanter.

On the nose I picked up black cherry, a bit of strawberry, chocolate powder along with and a dusty earthy component. Great mouth feel with strong chocolate powder component – almost as if this was spiked with chocolate powder – which was complimented by sour cherry and firmer than expected tannins. If any one else out there happens to read this, I hope you’ll try a Matello wine… support the Indies!