1997 Marcassin "Marcassin Vineyard" Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

SKU #999149 95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Vibrant notes of freshly sauteed porcini mushrooms, roasted meats, Asian plum sauce, black currants and forest floor aromas jump from the glass of this wonderful, still surprisingly young and vibrant Pinot Noir. The last time I tasted the 1997 professionally was in August, 2002, when I thought the wine had closed down considerably. That is no longer the case. Currently strutting its stuff, it appears to be in late adolescence with another 10-15 years of life ahead of it. (RP)  (6/2014)

95 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Full deep red. Blackberry, blueberry, raspberry, mocha, brown sugar, earth and smoke on the nose ... Very deep and chewy; sappy and spicy. Truly three-dimensional in texture. Finishes with noble tannins and superb persistence. My early look at the Marcassin 2000s from the Sonoma Coast, from vineyards planted by the Martinelli family to the specifications of Helen Turley and John Wetlaufer, as well as from Turley and Wetlaufer own Marcassion Vineyard site, turned up a spectacular set of young wines. In particular, the pinot noir from Marcassin Vineyard, with its extraordinary aromatic complexity and amazingly silky texture and depth of flavor, is potentially the best wine to date from this site, which may well make it the greatest Pinot yet produced in America. (ST)  (6/2001)

91 points Wine Spectator

 Smooth-textured, intense and concentrated, with ripe, complex, mature-tasting plum and black cherry fruit that picks up anise, mineral and dusty berry notes that glide along on the finish. (JL)  (9/2002)

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Price: $329.99
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Pinot Noir

- One of France's most legendary grapes and the grape that earned Burgundy its reputation. The parent of varietals like Pinot Gris/Grigio and Pinot Blanc, Pinot Noir is blue to violet to indigo in color with relatively thin skins, and it is said to have been cultivated in France for more than 2,000 years. At its best, Pinot Noir creates elegant wines that are filled with primary red fruit aromas and flavors while young, revealing with an array of secondary characteristics like earth, smoke, violet, truffle and game with age. The varietal is also known, perhaps better than any, for its ability to translate terroir, or a sense of place. While the best Pinot Noir still comes from Burgundy, it is being produced with increasing success in cooler climates around the world. In France, it is part of the trifecta of grapes that can go into Champagne, and it is also grown in Alsace, Irancy, Jura, Savoie, Lorraine and Sancerre. Outside of France it is produced under the names Pinot Nero and Blauburgunder in Italy's mountainous regions, as Spätburgunder in Germany and as Blauburgunder in Austria. In the US, Pinot Noir has found suitable growing conditions in the cooler parts of California, including Carneros, the Russian River Valley, the Anderson Valley, the Sonoma Coast, Monterey County, the Santa Lucia Highlands and Santa Barbara County, as well as in Oregon's Willamette Valley. In recent years, New Zealand has demonstrated its ability to interpret this hard-to-grow varietal, with successful bottlings coming from careful and attentive growers in Central Otago, Martinborough and Canterbury. Chile is also an up-and-coming region for Pinot Noir, creating fresh, fruit-forward, early-drinking and affordable Pinots from the coastal Casablanca Valley and the Limari Valley.

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.


- 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.
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).