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1998 Marcassin Vineyard Chardonnay

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RATINGS

100Robert M. Parker Jr.

With hints of citrus butter, crushed seashells, honeysuckle, guava, pear and smoke intermixed with lots of glycerin, this is one of their more powerful, alcoholic Chardonnays (14.9% alcohol). Wet gravel/earthy/volcanic notes...

93Wine Spectator

93+ Stephen Tanzer

...nose combines lime, oatmeal, roasted nuts and a petrolly suggestion of wet stone. Then rich and full in the mouth....has noteworthy complexity and a strong spine for aging.

PRODUCER

Marcassin

Helen Turley and her husband John Wetlaufer are one of Napa Valley’s most famous couples. Both are winemakers and entrepreneurs who between them have consulted or worked for a significant number of the valley’s most prestigious wineries. They founded their own winery, Marcassin, in 1990 in the Russian River Valley where they cultivate fewer than 20 acres planted to Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Marcassin Chardonnays are consistently among the finest produced in California – or anywhere in the world, according to Robert M. Parker J. – and the couple is also now producing highly-rated Pinot Noir. Parker has written that Turley and Wetlaufer “continue to rank at the top of the short list of producers making the world’s most prodigious, complex wines.” The total annual production at Marcassin is fewer than 2,000 cases and the wines are distributed only through the winery’s mailing list.

REGION

United States, California, Sonoma, Sonoma Coast

Sonoma Coast AVA runs from San Pablo Bay in the south to Mendocino County in the north. It includes 7,000 vineyard acres and earned AVA status in 1987. Its proximity to the Pacific Ocean means it gets double the rainfall of nearby inland appellations and the ocean gives the appellation a relatively cool climate. Chardonnay and Pinot Noir can thrive in these conditions, and there are numerous producers making critically acclaimed Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.

TYPE

White Wine, Chardonnay

This white variety originated in Burgundy, but is now grown around the world. Its flexibility to thrive in many regions translates to wide flavor profile in the market. Chardonnay is commonly used in making Champagne and sparkling wines.

WINEMAKER