Marcassin Marcassin Vineyard Pinot Noir 2005
Pinot Noir from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
The Wine Advocate - "The most structured, backward, and restrained of the Pinot Noirs is the dark ruby/plum-colored 2005 Pinot Noir Marcassin Vineyard. Notes of crushed rock, sweet cherries, raspberries and gamey autumnal forest floor notes as well as spring flowers make for a reserved but burgeoning, enormously promising aromatic display. In the mouth, it is powerful and full-bodied, with superb texture, definition, purity, good acidity, and ripe tannin. This is a remarkable Pinot Noir that should drink well for 15 or more years.
International Wine Cellar - "Deep red-ruby color. Initially reticent nose opened spectacularly to show raspberry, mocha, minerals and smoke, along with sexy underbrush and forest floor elements. Began broad but closed and hiding its sweetness but with aeration showed outstanding volume, a seductively spherical texture and a restrained but nonetheless compelling sweetness of raspberry and underbrush flavors. Denser and finer-grained than the Blue Slide Ridge bottling; not obviously superior today but will probably surpass it five years down the road. Finishes with outstanding length. 95+ points "
Wine Spectator - "Fresh floral and berry aromas are firm, ripe, intense and delicate on the palate, under- rather than overstated, with taut wild berry, mineral, sage and underbrush, finishing with a persistent mix of mineral and berry."
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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 a half the amount of wine as her northeasterly neighbor. But Sonoma, with her size, is able to vouch for more diversity within her borders, including sub-AVAs that are climatically varied. The atmosphere of Sonoma is decidedly laid back and down home country style. But in wines, they are keeping up with the Joneses, or Napa-ites if you will. 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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