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Marcassin Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 2011

ID No: 442518
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Marcassin Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 2013

Marcassin Sonoma Coast Chardonnay is made from 100 percent Chardonnay. 


The 2013 Chardonnay Marcassin Vineyard may be even better. Notes of caramelized citrus, hazelnut, apple blossom, lemon oil and orange marmalade are all present in this wine of dazzling aromatic and flavor dimension. It is full-bodied, again shows some wet pebbles (which I equate with minerality), vibrant acidity, and no real evidence of any oak. Much like the 2012, the finish goes on for 45+ seconds. This is another killer Chardonnay from Helen Turley and John Wetlaufer. -Wine Advocate 100 Points

What an extraordinary tasting this was at the Marcassin winery just north of Santa Rosa in Sonoma County. Just when you think the duo of Helen Turley and John Wetlaufer can’t make greater wines, they bowl over the taster with an array of exquisite quality that really must be tasted to be believed. Marcassin was probably California’s greatest Chardonnay after the famous Chalone winery fell from the pinnacle and onto hard times in the 1980s (and it has yet to rebound). Moreover, Marcassin set the bar for great Pinot Noir as well. And while both their Chardonnay and Pinot Noir have many competitors these days (from the likes of Harford Court, Mark Aubert, Kistler, Kongsgaard, DuMol, Thomas Brown, Peter Michael, Martinelli and Luc Morlet, to name a few), John Wetlaufer and Helen Turley remain the reigning geniuses of these two varietals in California. Certainly, their meticulous attention to detail in both the vineyard and in the winemaking and élevage account for the quality, but they were among the pioneers who saw the unlimited potential from the Sonoma Coast, now a relatively crowded neighborhood. This was a remarkable tasting that simply blew me away, and I have been following their wines since the first Marcassins were made in the early 1990s. By the way, any doubts about aging potential should be crushed immediately, as even in the most challenging vintages in California, Marcassin Chardonnays and Pinots have aged as well as, if not better than just about any grand cru white Burgundy. For example, 1995 and 1996 Chardonnays, particularly those from the Lorenzo Vineyard, are incredibly youthful and dynamic, and the Marcassin Estate Pinot Noir, even from vintages such as 1998, is simply amazing. The three Chardonnays tasted include two perfect wines. Perhaps the closest comparison is not to anything made in California, but a Corton-Charlemagne in a top vintage from the famous Jean François Coche-Dury.



 Wine Advocate: 100
Marcassin Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir 2012

Marcassin Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir 2012 in stock and ready to ship. 

Review:

The 2012 Pinot Noir Marcassin Vineyard, which comes primarily from the Calera clone (although I suspect there are a few mystery clones in their plantings), always seems to remind me of a grand cru from Burgundy’s Côte de Nuits, particularly Morey-St.-Denis. Dense ruby/plum, its sweet nose of strawberries, black cherry liqueur, fresh porcini mushrooms and forest floor is followed by a dark, full-bodied, rich and concentrated wine that is supple, dramatic, and even flamboyant. Drink it over the next 12-15 years. 97 Points Rrbert Parker

 

 Wine Advocate: 97
Bydand Chardonnay Sonoma Coast 2015

Bydand Chardonnay Sonoma Coast is made from 100% Chardonnay

Aged for 16 months in 30% new French oak, 70% neutral French oak

Farmed by one of California’s most respected and longest operating grape-growing families, the Roberts Road Vineyard is located in the Petaluma Gap. Sitting on well draining gravel soils, coastal winds allow for a long, slow and even growing season. Planted in 1998 these Dijon 95 grapes provide minerality and vibrancy to a full-bodied wine with impressive purity of flavor and mouth-feel. French oak barrels add subtle toast to aromas of pear, stone fruits and white citrus.

Product Description

 The 2011 is a great Chardonnay Marcassin Vineyard from a much-maligned and sometimes excessively criticized vintage. 2011 has its low points, but there are many producers who got it right, and survived the challenging growing and harvest conditions. This wine has phenomenal intensity, with plenty of crushed rock, pineapple, honeysuckle, orange and tangerine blossom in an elegant, medium to full-bodied style, with terrific intensity, good acidity and freshness. This is more evolved than either the 2009 or 2010, and probably will be a candidate for 7-8 years of aging, rather than 10 or more.



There is no doubt that Marcassin is the most difficult appointment for people to schedule, to sit down and taste wine with owners Helen Turley and John Wetlaufer. The legacy they have created in California wine is immense. They are in their early seventies, and have decided to completely dedicate themselves to their own vineyard on the Sonoma Coast. I saw them recently, and tasted through these current and upcoming releases of both the Estate Chardonnay and Estate Pinot Noir. The Chardonnay, of course, comes from very low-yielding old Wente clones of Chardonnay planted on the slopes of the Sonoma coastline hillsides. This clone is believed to have been brought over from Burgundy’s grand cru vineyard, Corton-Charlemagne, decades ago.

Marcassin Chardonnay
Here are the notes on the bottled 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and barrel samples of the 2013 and 2014. As readers know, this is probably one of the most Burgundian-styled Chardonnays ever made in California, and it has attracted many imitators. It goes through full malolactic fermentation, and sees a good dosage of new oak, but the tiny yields and meticulous winemaking are brilliant, and the wines, by and large, have aged very well, with the first Estate Chardonnays from 1996, 1997 and 1998 still going strong. The same can be said for some of Helen Turleys first Chardonnays from purchased fruit, particularly from the Lorenzo Vineyard, Hudson Vineyard and Gauer Vineyard/Upper Barn (now owned by the Jackson family, and known as their Alexander Valley Mountain Estate).

-Robert Parker Wine Advocate. 97 Points

Customers who bought this product also purchased
Ferren Chardonnay Silver Eagle Vineyard 2014

Silver Eagle Vineyard rests atop Stoetz Ridge, the land mass that divides the remote Sonoma Coast from the Russian River Valley. This vineyard experiences both the cooling ocean breezes of the nearby Pacific, as well as the warmth of the interior valley. The Chardonnay made from this unique confluence of climates is extraordinary; a fascinating juxtaposition of briny minerality and candied citrus.

Average age of the vines is 10 years.

100% native fermentation (primary and secondary), long cool fermentations often lasting up to a full year, minimal lees stirring, no additions of any kind (commercial yeast, water, acid, enzymes, etc ...)

Ageing: 12 months sur lie in 60 gallon Burgundian barrels. 6 additional months in stainless. 
Cooperage: Francois Freres 100% French Oak, Vosges and Troncais forrests, 40% new oak.

Never any fining or filtration.

Review:

The 2014 Chardonnay Silver Eagle Vineyard is flat out gorgeous. Ample, unctuous and inviting, the 2014 offers exceptional depth, silkiness and nuance. Apricot jam, honey, honeysuckle, orange peel and baked apple all flesh out in the glass. The interplay of rich, textured fruit and bright aromatics is compelling. The 2014 is a bold, opulent wine from Matt Courtney and yet it retains remarkable balance. -Vinous 95 Points

 Vinous Antonio Galloni: 95
Vinsacro Dioro Rioja 2010


 

Dark ruby color. Aromas of cherry, currant, vanilla bean and hint of tar. Full-bodied, with flavors of cherries, cocoa powder and oak. A touch of sweetness on entry with a little bit of air with soft tannins that are starting to integrate well.

The latest step in the project is Vinsacro (formerly Valsacro) Dioro. The earlier Valsacros were made from a field selection of the older vineyards. Now, thanks to the new facility Amador has been able to build an upmarket version of Vinsacro (formerly Valsacro) with a four-stage selection process that includes an initial field selection of the fruit followed by a second table selection as the grapes come into the winery. After fermentation wine from selected tanks is transferred to new French oak barrels for 12-14 months of barrel age. Finally, the best barrels are set aside for Dioro and the remainder used to "upgrade" the normal Vinsacro.

Vinsacro Dioro is a blend of grapes from 100+ year old "vidau" vineyards where many varieties were planted together in the same plot.

Today the grapes are harvested and vinified separately. The final blend depends on the vintage but typically it's Tempranillo (50%), Garnacha (20%) and remaining 30% is a mix of mainly Graciano (10%) & Mazuelo (10%) with a little of Monastrell (5%) & Bobal (5%).

 


Review:

"Bright purple. Potent dark berry aromas are complicated by notes of vanilla, pipe tobacco and woodsmoke. Fresh and precise, with densely packed black raspberry and cola flavors that opening nicely with air. Gentle tannins build slowly on the clinging finish, with the raspberry and smoke notes echoing. - Josh Raynolds"
- Steven Tanzer ‘s International Wine Cellar (September / October 2014), 91 pts

The 2010 Vinsacro Dioro opens to an explosion of flowers and ripe blueberries that is very perfumed. It feels quite modern and aromatic with well-integrated oak and a luscious palate. This is produced from a field blend they call Vidau, which, in their case it is approximately 50% Garnacha, 30% Tempranillo and a myriad of other grapes like Graciano and even Monastrell. The wine aged in brand new French oak barrels for 17 months, and it's clearly a high-end wine with aspirations. 35,000 bottles. Wine Advocate 92 Points

 Vinous Antonio Galloni: 91 Wine Advocate: 92
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Pago de los Capellanes Crianza 2015

Prepared with Tempranillo grapes (100%), this wine has a very bright, intense maraschino cherry colour that fades to a Cardinal red rim.

It has a very marked aroma with a good balance of fruit and wood, where tones of vanilla intermingle with well-ripened fruit, black berries and wild fruits. There are also noticeable hints of leather and liquorice, resulting from the mingling of the French oak and the aromas inherent in this variety of grape. 

In the mouth, the wine has a smooth texture but fills the palate with balanced flavours, including fine tannins, which help extend the life of the wine. The finish and aftertaste are both long and elegant.

Vineyard: 

Pago de los Capellanes, Pedrosa de Duero. 

Variety composition: 

100% Tempranillo.

Type of soil: 

Clayey and chalky. 

Aging: 

12 months in barrel and remainder on rack.

Type of oak: 

100% French oak, medium toast.

Serving: 

Uncork and decant one hour before serving at a temperature of 16-18 ºC.

Selected harvest with yields limited to 5000 kg per hectare. The harvest begins in early October, starting with the most mature parcels. Once the grapes are brought into the winery, the tanks are seeded with indigenous yeast (start culture) and the alcoholic fermentation begins. During the barrelling period, which lasts 30 days, the wine is crushed and pumped over daily, all the while controlling the density, temperature and evolution of the yeast. At the end of this fermentation, the tanks are emptied and the wine taken for malolactic fermentation.

The malolactic fermentation begins without the addition of bacteria. The temperature is held steady at 20ºC for period of 22 days, during which we monitor the levels of malic and lactic acids. When the malic acid content is less than 0.1 grams per litre, the wine is decanted to separate the lees and is transferred directly to the barrels without undergoing any type of filtration, clarification or cold treatment.

The wine is aged for twelve months in new and semi-new French oak barrels (no more than three years old). At the end of this period, it is taken to the tank for homogenisation, where it undergoes light filtration through cartridges (open pore) and is then bottled.