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Marcassin Marcassin Vineyard Chardonnay 2004

  • RP97
  • WS94
750ML / 0% ABV
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750ML / 0% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Marcassin Estate continues to grow, although still ever so tiny, with just over 20 acres of tightly spaced vineyards on the Sonoma Coast. They also supplement their estate bottlings with purchased fruit from vineyards owned by the Martinelli family which they help manage, the Three Sisters Vineyard for Chardonnay, and Pinot Noir from the Blue Slide Vineyard. Their dominant Chardonnay clones continue to be based on the old Wente clones taken from the Hudson and Hyde Vineyards, and the Mt.Eden clone. The Pinot Noir material is dominated by California heritage clones. Little changes under the firm's leadership of Helen Turley and her husband John Wetlaufer (now married 42 years), and as someone raised in Maryland, I am proud to say they were schooled at the renowned St. John's College in Annapolis, Maryland. They have always been committed to the highest quality of wines possible. It is akin to being tutored by a great master to sit down and taste through their series of Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs. They added a few wrinkles this time by throwing into the tasting a 2005 Domaine Leflaive Batard-Montrachet, which was completely obliterated by their own Chardonnays, and with the Pinot Noirs, a highly rated grand cru red Burgundy from the 2005 vintage that didn't fare particularly well either. Their point was that not only are their wines superior (and I would certainly agree with these comparisons), but also that some of the most famous names in Burgundy have more sizzle and snobbery behind them than actual quality. The Pinot Noirs are very complex and need lots of aeration/decanting to strut their stuff. They continue to remind me of grand crus from Morey St.-Denis, especially wines such as Ponsot's Clos de la Roche because of the following.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 97
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The Chardonnay Marcassin Vineyard is often the quintessential Chardonnay of the New World. With respect to the 2004, high acids, a greenish hue (also apparent in the Three Sisters cuvee) to the light straw/gold color, and notes of quince, crushed rocks, white currants, and subtle hazelnut, tropical fruit, and white peach characteristics are found in this beautiful Chardonnay. There is a subtle underlying buttery character, but the minerality and acidity both jump forward. This white seems to have a tannic structure much like a red wine. Still incredibly young, it should hit its peak in 3-4 years, and last for 12-15. It is clearly becoming the most consistent, long-lived Chardonnay of California. NOTE: Prices are approximate as the winery releases the wines at very reasonable prices, but buyers who resell them usually do so in the $300-350 per bottle range.
WS 94
Wine Spectator
Weaves together a complex web of mature pear, fig and golden raisin, with mineral and hints of smoke and anise. Elegant, stylish, mature and focused. Medium- to full-bodied, ending with a subtle, delicate Meursault-like flintiness. Drink now through 2012. 350 cases made.
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Marcassin

Marcassin

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Marcassin, California
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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.

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Sonoma Coast

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A vast appellation covering Sonoma County’s Pacific coastline, the Sonoma Coast AVA runs all the way from the Mendocino County border, south to the San Pablo Bay. The region can actually be divided into two sections—the actual coastal vineyards, marked by marine soils, cool temperatures and saline ocean breezes—and the warmer, drier vineyards further inland, which are still heavily influenced by the Pacific but not quite with same intensity.

Contained within the appellation are the much smaller Fort Ross-Seaview and Petaluma Gap AVAs.

The Sonoma Coast is highly regarded for elegant Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and, increasingly, cool-climate Syrah. The wines have high acidity, moderate alcohol, firm tannin, and balanced ripeness.

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Chardonnay

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One of the most popular and versatile white wine grapes, Chardonnay offers a wide range of flavors and styles depending on where it is grown and how it is made. While practically every country in the wine producing world grows it, Chardonnay from its Burgundian homeland produces some of the most remarkable and longest lived examples. As far as cellar potential, white Burgundy rivals the world’s other age-worthy whites like Riesling or botrytized Semillon. California is Chardonnay’s second most important home, where both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines enjoy great popularity. Oregon, Australia and South America are also significant producers of Chardonnay.

In the Glass

When planted on cool sites, Chardonnay flavors tend towards grapefruit, lemon zest, green apple, celery leaf and wet flint, while warmer locations coax out richer, more tropical flavors of melon, peach and pineapple. Oak can add notes of vanilla, coconut and spice, while malolactic fermentation imparts a soft and creamy texture.

Perfect Pairings

Chardonnay is as versatile at the table as it is in the vineyard. The crisp, clean, Chablis-like styles go well with flaky white fish with herbs, scallops, turkey breast and soft cheeses. Richer Chardonnays marry well with lobster, crab, salmon, roasted chicken and creamy sauces.

Sommelier Secret

Since the 1990s, big, oaky, buttery Chardonnays from California have enjoyed explosive popularity. More recently, the pendulum has begun to swing in the opposite direction, towards a clean, crisp style that rarely utilizes new oak. In Burgundy, the subregion of Chablis, while typically employing the use of older oak barrels, produces a similar bright and acid-driven style. Anyone who doesn't like oaky Chardonnay would likely enjoy its lighter style.

MLNMARCCHARD_2004 Item# 112037

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*New customers only. One-time use per customer. Order must be placed by 9/28/2019. The $20 discount is given for a single order with a minimum of $100 excluding shipping and tax. Items with pricing ending in .97 are excluded and will not count toward the minimum required. Discount does not apply to corporate orders, gift certificates, StewardShip membership fees, select Champagne brands, Riedel glassware, fine and rare wine, 187ML splits, and all bottles 3.0 liters or larger. No other promotion codes, coupon codes or corporate discounts may be applied to order.

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