2009 Marcassin "Marcassin Vineyard" Sonoma Coast Chardonnay
"Full-blown, mature Chardonnay at its peak, layered and complex, unfolding with anise, smoky oak, roasted fig, apricot and honeysuckle flavors. What makes this sing is the richness and proportionality of the flavors. Lingers and gains on the finish. Drink now."
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Year in and year out, the Chardonnay Marcassin Estate is one of the two or three most profound Chardonnays made in California, and a wine that could dominate any tasting of white Burgundies. The 2009 offers up notes of honeysuckle, citrus oil, tangerines, white peach and wet gravel followed by a wine with a full-bodied mouthfeel and zesty acidity. It should evolve for 10-15 years. Both 2009 and 2010 were cool years, and both were eclipsed in coldness by 2011. I still have their vintages from the nineties, both the first Estate bottlings and of course wines they made from vineyards such as the Upper Barn-Gauer (now owned by Kendall-Jackson) and the Lorenzo Vineyard from the mid-nineties that are still in fabulous conditions. So there is an argument to be made that Marcassin along with Mt. Eden and the old Chalones from the seventies and early eighties are examples of the longest-lived Chardonnays ever produced in California. The visionary husband and wife team of John Wetlaufer and Helen Turley have created a largely unprecedented legacy of extraordinary quality that is unsurpassed by anyone else in Northern California. They have built a winery in Windsor, California in Sonoma Valley with 20 acres of vines situated high above the fog line, on the Sonoma Coast. They were among the first to recognize the extraordinary potential for world-class quality wine production on the Sonoma Coast. Their Chardonnay and Pinot Noir vines are planted at elevations between 800 and 1,400 fee
Acclaimed winemaker Helen Turley and her husband John Wetlaufer now have 20 acres of vines planted to steep hillsides on the Sonoma Coast that are part of the Marcassin Vineyard. While their Pinot Noirs have garnered plenty of acclaim, their Chardonnays truly sing. Robert Parker says, "Both Turley and Wetlaufer were among the first in California to try and emulate the full malolactic style found in most French white Burgundies...It is ironic that the Marcassin Chardonnays probably eclipse 98% of white Burgundies made today for their complexity and aging potential."