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Marcassin Marcassin Vineyard Pinot Noir 2003

Pinot Noir from Sonoma County, California
  • RP99
  • WS95
0% ABV
  • RP92
  • WS91
  • RP98
  • WS94
  • RP98
  • WS97
  • RP99
  • WS96
  • RP96
  • WS96
  • RP98
  • WS94
  • RP98
  • WS93
  • RP98
  • WS95
  • WS97
  • RP92
  • RP97
  • WS95
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Winemaker Notes

"The 2003 Pinot Noir Marcassin Vineyard borders on perfection. Gorgeous floral notes intermixed with steak tartare, black raspberry, sweet cherry, plum, earth, and spice characteristics almost overwhelm the olfactory senses. Full-bodied with good acidity, sweet but present tannin, and a long, 50-second finish, this is a magnificent Pinot Noir. It's hard to choose between this cuvee and the Blue Slide Ridge 2003 Pinot. Bottom line ... life is too short not to have both.

Tasting at Marcassin with Helen Turley and John Wetlaufer is one of the more satisfying appointments a wine critic could have. This is commitment to excellence at its highest level. An unwavering, uncompromising brilliance and focus is reflected in not only meticulous work in the vineyard, but also in highly detailed winemaking that consistently succeeds in producing some of the finest Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs in the world. Even more interesting, since they have rarely given interviews, will be the two books that Turley and Wetlaufer are writing independently of each other. They possess an accumulation of knowledge and experience that is, as the advertising industry would say, "priceless." Hopefully some of that will soon make its way onto the written pages for future generations."
-Robert Parker, Wine Advocate

Critical Acclaim

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RP 99
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
WS 95
Wine Spectator
An immense wine that's rich and concentrated, with taut, supple, firmly structured blueberry, wild berry and blackberry fruit that coats the palate. No shortage of tannins either, yet it's very deep and persistent, ending with smoky oak touches. Drink now through 2013. 450 cases made.
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Marcassin

Marcassin

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Marcassin, Sonoma County, California
2003 Marcassin Vineyard Pinot Noir
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.

Sonoma County

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Home to a diverse array of smaller AVAs with varied microclimates and soil types, Sonoma County has something for nearly every wine lover. Physically twice as large as Napa, the region only produces about half the amount of wine, but what it lacks in quantity it makes up for in both quality and variety. With its laid-back atmosphere and down-to-earth attitude, the wineries of Sonoma are appreciated by wine tourists for their friendliness and approachability. The entire county intends to become a 100% sustainable winegrowing region by 2019.

Grape varieties are carefully selected to reflect the best attributes of their sites—Dry Creek Valley’s consistent sunshine is ideal for Zinfandel, while the warm Alexander Valley is responsible for rich, voluptuous Cabernet Sauvignon. Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are important throughout the county, most notably in the cooler AVAs of Russian River and Sonoma Valleys, Carneros, and Fort Ross-Seaview. Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot, and Syrah have also found a firm footing here.

Pinot Noir

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One of the most difficult yet rewarding grapes to grow, Pinot Noir is commonly referred to by winemakers as the “heartbreak grape.” However, the greatest red wines of Burgundy prove that it is unquestionably worth the effort. More reflective than most varieties of the land on which it is grown, Pinot Noir prefers a cool climate, requires low yields to achieve high quality, and demands care in the vineyard and lots of attention in the winery. It is an important component of Champagne and the only variety permitted in red Burgundy. Pinot Noir enjoys immense popularity internationally, most notably in Oregon, California, and New Zealand.

In the Glass

Pinot Noir Is all about red fruit—strawberry, raspberry, and cherry. It is relatively pale in color with soft tannins and lively acidity. It ranges in body from very light to the heavier side of medium, typically landing somewhere in the middle—giving it extensive possibilities for food pairing. With age (of which the best examples can handle an astounding amount), it can develop hauntingly beautiful characteristics of fresh earth, autumn leaves, and truffles.

Perfect Pairings

Pinot’s healthy acidity cuts through the oiliness of pink-fleshed fish like salmon, ocean trout, and tuna. Its mild mannered tannins don’t fight with spicy food, and give it enough structure to pair with all sorts of poultry—chicken, quail, and especially duck. As the namesake wine of Boeuf Bourguignon, it can even match with heavier fare. Pinot Noir is also very vegetarian-friendly—most notably with any dish that features mushrooms.

Sommelier Secret

Pinot Noir is dangerously drinkable, highly addictive, and has a bad habit of emptying the wallet. Look for affordable but still delicious examples from Germany (as Spätburgunder), Italy (as Pinot Nero), Chile, New Zealand, and France’s Loire Valley and Alsace regions.

MVVMARCMARC_2003 Item# 94718

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