2002 Marcassin "Marcassin Vineyard" Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

SKU #1033753 100 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 I have always felt that top vintages of Marcassin Pinot Noir have a resemblance to a Ponsot Clos de la Roche from a great vintage. While some may say that-s impossible, I have bought and drunk enough of Ponsot's Clos de la Roche and Marcassin's Pinot Noir to have confidence in making that observation. Moreover, the rumor from numerous top Pinot producers about the origin of the Dijon clones being Ponsot old vine material adds to my convictions. The 2002 Marcassin Estate Pinot Noir exhibits a dense plum/purple color to the rim in addition to a compelling bouquet of raspberry jam, black cherries, Asian spice and the tell-tale forest floor note which is clearly a characteristic of the Burgundian clones used at Marcassin. Full-bodied, opulent, multilayered and built like a skyscraper with a silky texture, this profound effort is one of the greatest Pinot Noirs ever made in the New World. It should continue to drink well for another 10-15 years, but there is no need to defer your gratification. (RP)  (6/2014)

95 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Full, bright red-ruby. Knockout nose of raspberry, flint, spices, licorice and mocha; higher-pitched than the Blue Slide. Then big, broad, spicy and uncompromisingly dry; a voluptuously round, large-scaled Pinot that's not yet as flamboyant as the Blue Slide. The most tannic of these 2002 Pinots, but the tannins are outlasted by powerful, spicy fruit and mineral flavors. These wines have the texture and weight-not to mention complexity-of grand cru Burgundy. (ST) 95+  (6/2005)

95 points Wine Spectator

 Fresh and lively, with blackberry, wild berry and light toasty oak aromas folded in with scents of earthy forest floor. Intense on the palate without being heavy, finishing with a pretty burst of ripe boysenberry. Has exquisite balance and a lingering finish. *Collectibles* (JL)  (4/2007)

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Price: $399.99
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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).