Marcassin Marcassin Vineyard Pinot Noir 2004
Pinot Noir from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
The 2004 Pinot Noir Marcassin Estate probably will turn out to be the best, but it is the most backward and reserved. Dark plum/ruby in color with hints of sweet and sour cherries, raspberries, smoke, and gun flint, but with relatively crisp acids, moderate tannins, and a firm, rather masculine and structured style, this wine is austere, but it possesses serious weight and depth. I will be shocked if this doesn't jump 2 or 3 points in rating when I have it in a year or so from bottle. This is set for a long life, but I wouldn't touch a bottle for 2-3 years. Drink it over the following 10-15. It should prove to be uncommonly long-lived by California Pinot Noir standards.
The Wine Advocate - "Utterly profound, the 2004 Pinot Noir Marcassin Estate has a deep plum/ruby/purple-tinged color and a sweet nose of black raspberries, roasted meats, forest aromas, soy, and fresh mushrooms. Layered and multi-dimensional, with sweet but noticeable tannin, and broad, intense flavors, this is a stunning wine that should drink nicely for a decade or more.
International Wine Cellar - "Good red-ruby. Vibrant, highly nuanced aromas of raspberry, blueberry liqueur, smoke, flint and flowers. Round, shapely and concentrated; a step up from the Three Sisters in intensity, energy and thrust. The dark fruit flavors show an enticing sappy quality. Finishes very long, fresh and gripping, with fine tannins."
Wine Spectator - "This complex Pinot shows a mix of forest floor, porcini mushroom, dried currant and berry, with touches of smoke, anise and new oak. Pure, focused and concentrated, this is still very tightly wound, ending with a supple texture and a scent of rose petal."
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If you haven’t heard of Helen Turley, or tasted one of her wines, you’ve definitely not been paying close enough attention to the wines coming out of California in the last 10 years. She is arguably one of the most influential winemakers in the business, receiving critical acclaim for almost every wine she touches. Aside from her own boutique winery, Marcassin, which she runs with husband John Wetlaufer, Helen has been the consulting winemaker for some of the best wineries in the country – Colgin, Bryant Family, Martinelli – just to name a few.
Marcassin (french for 'young wild boar') is a VERY small winery – in fact it’s so small that the wines have actually been made at the Martinelli winery in Russian River Valley. Located on the Sonoma Coast, the Marcassin vineyard is planted to 50/50 Chardonnay and Pinot Noir and is about 10 acres in size. Fruit for the other vineyard designated wines is sourced from other neighboring vineyards. Marcassin will always be a small winery; John & Helen feel the perfect size is 100 barrels, enough for 2,500 cases.
Helen’s winemaking philosophy is simple: great vineyards, meticulously farmed, limited yield, long hang time and natural yeast. She approaches every project with these same priorities. View all Marcassin Wines
About Sonoma CountyRelated Links:
Twice as large as Napa in size, Sonoma County only makes about half as much wine as its northeasterly neighbor. Because of its vast size, however, Sonoma is able to achieve far more diversity within its borders, which include sub-AVAs that are climatically varied. The atmosphere of Sonoma is decidedly laid-back and down-to-earth, but the wines are serious and well-made, ranging in style from subtle and elegant to rich and powerful. Grape varieties are more varied here, from Pinot Noir and Zinfandel to Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay.
Notable FactsThe largest sub-AVAs of Sonoma include Dry Creek Valley, Russian River Valley, Alexander Valley and Sonoma Valley. Each sub-AVA, with its own micro-climate, is unique in its grape varieties and styles of wine. Dry Creek makes a mean Zinfandel while Russian River produces stand up Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The Alexander Valley makes some of the better Cabernet Sauvignons in the county and Sonoma Valley creates excellent wines from all the above varieties. Other grapes found throughout Sonoma include Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot and Syrah.
About CaliforniaIt's not rare to see a wine's country of origin listed as "California." A country into itself in the wine world, California makes enough varieties and styles to match many European wine countries. It produces a diverse range of wines that span the quality spectrum.
The most famous of the California wine regions is Napa Valley, and these wines are certainly outstanding – but it's not as broad and diverse as its larger neighbor, Sonoma County. Down south, Santa Barbara's Santa Maria Valley is well-known for its Rhône blends, as well as cool-climate varieties like Pinot and Chardonnay. The Central Coast, the largest California AVA, has many different microclimates that lead to a wide range of wines with many sub-AVAs.
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