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Date Printed: 7/11/2014
Marcassin Marcassin Vineyard Chardonnay 2006
Marcassin Marcassin Vineyard Chardonnay 2006
(search item no. 108104)
collectible wine
boutique wine

The Wine Advocate rating: 96 points
Wine Spectator rating: 96 points
PRICE ON 7/11/2014: $249.00

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2009 Wine Spectator rating: 97 points
2009 The Wine Advocate rating: 96 points
2008 The Wine Advocate rating: 100 points
2007 The Wine Advocate rating: 99 points
2007 Wine Spectator rating: 95 points
2005 The Wine Advocate rating: 98 points
2005 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2004 The Wine Advocate rating: 97 points
2004 International Wine Cellar rating: 97 points
2004 Wine Spectator rating: 94 points
2003 International Wine Cellar rating: 96 points
2003 The Wine Advocate rating: 95 points
2003 Wine Spectator rating: 93 points
2002 The Wine Advocate rating: 99 points

Winemaker's Notes:

#74 Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2011

Fortunately, as the new plantings from Marcassin's Sonoma Coast vineyards come into production, there will be additional quantities of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir to help fulfill the ever increasing demand for these wines. Furthermore, from now on, Marcassin will only deal with their own fruit, and they are ending their relationship with the Martinelli family and will no longer share the fruit from the Three Sisters Vineyard for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay as well as the Blue Slide Ridge for Pinot Noir. One-hundred percent of that fruit will now go to the Martinellis as proprietors Helen Turley and John Wetlaufer concentrate on their estate holdings. I have been purchasing their wines since the early nineties, and it's remarkable how well the Marcassin wines age. Recent examples of the 1995 and 1997 Chardonnays (which were made from purchased fruit), particularly the Lorenzo and Gauer, are holding up beautifully. They are aging better than most white Burgundies of a similar age. Their Pinot Noirs are also performing brilliantly given what the 1998s, 1999s, and 2000s taste like after a decade of aging. With respect to upcoming releases (one is never quite certain what will be released when, as Marcassin's release program is relatively late, and difficult to predict), they should include the 2006 and 2007 Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs, which I tasted in late October, 2009. All the Pinot Noirs need considerable aeration, and are among the few Pinots that I would recommend decanting. They all are reminiscent of northern red Burgundies, particularly those from the village of Morey-St.-Denis. The 2007 Pinot Noirs are more backward than their 2006 counterparts, and, assuming they will be released this year, are best cellared for 2-3 years.

My Notes:

Additional wines from Marcassin:

About Marcassin:

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.