1996 Marcassin "Marcassin Vineyard" Sonoma Coast Chardonnay

SKU #930105 100 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 1996 comes across like a mature yet great Coche-Dury Corton-Charlemagne. The first vintage bottled from their original plantings of ten acres, this was the finest showing yet of the 1996. A potent nose of white corn, citrus butter and crushed rocks is followed by a full-bodied, powerful wine displaying wonderful delineation, fresh acidity, hints of orange and tangerine rind as well as wet gravel, and a stony, citrusy, buttery component. Remarkably, the wine still possesses a surprisingly light gold color with a greenish hue. This magnificent Chardonnay is one of the most profound efforts ever made from this varietal in California. Even more shocking, it should have 10-20 more years of life remaining if kept in a cold cellar.  (6/2012)

97 points Wine Spectator

 Enormous depth, richness and complexity here, withlayers of ripe, complex pear, fig, melon, apricot,anise and mineral, finishing with a rich, buttery aftertaste that keeps pumping out the flavors. The first Chardonnay from Marcassin's Sonoma Coast vineyard. Drinks exceptionally well now. Drink now through 2007. 100 cases made.  (4/2000)

96 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Knockout nose combines brisk lemon, pineapple and mineral notes with leesy spice and coconut cream richness. Succulent and fleshy in the mouth; at once broad and filled in. Extremely suave wine, not at all forced or phenolic. Finishes with extraordinary length and exhilarating soil tones. A great young California chardonnay.  (6/1999)

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Varietal:

Chardonnay

- It's hard to believe that up until about 30 years ago, this extremely popular varietal hid behind the veil of geographical names like Chablis and Puligny-Montrachet. Now grown all over the world and bottled by its varietal name, Chardonnay has achieved a level of branding unlike any other wine. Surprisingly, though, what you get when you buy Chardonnay can differ greatly from country to country and even within one country, depending on the climate where it's grown and how it is vinified and aged. From fresh, crisp and minerally with apple and lemon notes to rich and buttery with tropical fruit overtones, Chardonnay runs the gamut. In France's Burgundy, Chardonnay is the source of the prized wines of Chablis, Corton-Charlemagne, M√Ęcon, Meursault and Montrachet. It also the foundation of exceptional Champagne, where it is blended with Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier or vinified on its own into Blanc de Blancs. It is also extremely popular in California, and is gaining popularity in Australia, New Zealand, Italy, Spain and South Africa.
Country:

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world. Click for a list of bestselling items from the United States.
Sub-Region:

California

- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year. For our entire selection of California wines, please visit this link.
Specific Appellation:

Sonoma County

- Second in fame only to Napa, this "other" valley offers just about every climate and topography imaginable. From its cool and fog-enshrouded coastal regions on the far west, to the sprawling Alexander Valley on the boarder of Napa and the many little dips and peaks in between, Sonoma has been a vital wine-grape-growing region since the mid 1800s. Important sub-AVAs include Chalk Hill (known for chardonnay and sauvignon blanc), Dry Creek Valley (where zin is king) Knights Valley (largely cabernet land), Russian River Valley and Sonoma Coast (both celebrated pinot and chardonnay zones).