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The Story

 Her own Marcassin Vineyard was planted in 1991. At that time Helen Turley and her husband John Wetlaufer planted 3.45 hectares of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir at the property with undeveloped land they had bought out close to Jenner out in the true Sonoma Coast in 1985.   

   The first wines under the Marcassin Vineyard label was made in 1990, but at that time they they only used grapes purchased from vineyards owned by the Martinelli family and by Jess Jackson, and since the Marcassin Vineyard selection was added, that vineyard has been planted with more vines several times, and now covers almost 16 hectares. 

   Their own vineyard is located on at around 340-400 meters on a slope close to the clusters of vineyards owned by Flowers Vineyards, Pahlmeyer, Peter Michael Winery and not too far away from Hirsch Vineyard. It shares a combination of cool breezes from the Pacific and the warmer temperatures at the higher elevation.

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Latest Pro-tasting notes

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Written Notes

If the other wines are the premier crus of Marcassin, this offers the concentration and depths worthy a classification of grand cru. It's not only more powerful and rich, it's also a bit more refined and elegant. It offers layers of sweet raspberries and strawberries as well as dark red roses and just a touch of earthiness and I have to say this is delicious.
This is not the most concentrated of the quartet, but it is for sure the most structured wine. Tannins are still evident and keeps the intense fruit in a second position, although you for sure will notice the intensity of it. Dark cherries, ripe raspberries and strawberries are to be found here, but there's also a earthy and quite spicy quality that adds a certain complexity. The finish is quite long, but marked by the tannins and also a slight bitterness, which I guess will soften with another year or so in the bottle. One thing that strikes me with this wine, and the quartet in general, is that their flavors are more intense than their taste. To me, that's a positive thing. Far too many pinots are overly sweet and lush. Compared to what's found in Burgundy, if one even should make a comparison, is that most of the best wines in Burgundy are built on aromas and structure, and less on taste and sweetness. So I guess one could use the term "burgundy like here". But it took several years for this particular wine to reach that stage!

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Sonoma, California


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