Drinking beautifully with tropical fruit and vanilla bean notes on the nose and palate with buttery texture and oaky notes culminating in a long finish. Paired wonderfully with Mediterranean sea scallops.
This is without a doubt, the most unique domestic white wine I have tasted. Marigold in the glass with an oily hue. On the nose, exaggerated notes of warm butterscotch, smoke (crazy!), and buttered toast. Show-stopping & full bodied on the palate, with flavors of rich tropical fruit, buttered pecan, and vanilla bean that lead to a finish that didn’t want to quit. This isn’t a wine for everybody, but I enjoyed it quite a bit. In the style, this is tough to beat. (Notes by Shane T.)
SonkinCellars Partners Meeting (The Barn): Golden in color. The nose is nice with citrus (tangerine) and vanilla. Perhaps the proverbial creamsicle nose. Very creamy on the palate. Not a lot of acidity, but quite delicious. There is oak, but its enjoyable and not obnoxious. Worked well alone, but also with food. Going back at the end of the night and it had not budged much. Years left in this, but complex now.
--- COLOR: Deep gold, translucent NOTE: Tasted from two Riedel glasses: standard Chard + Montrachet Sommelier, both one hour after decanting
Standard Chard glass: Nose is compact, crème brulee with lemon curd, jasmine and orange blossom. Mouth is rich, round, actually opulent. Full of citrus, especially orange, but also oily lemon, like bergamot. It has a great sweetness but it's very light, gossamer, as it heads into the finish. The finish is a little more like graham cracker drizzled with some kind of candied citrus glaze. This is great stuff.
Montrachet glass (recommended by Wetlaufer): Nose is much more lemon-driven, almost prickly with acid. The brulee comes in second. Not bad, just different than the other glass. Mouth to finish is exactly the same as the other glass. I think I prefer the regular Chard glass just slightly more.
DECANT: 1 hr GLASS USED: see above TASTE: 9.3+ COST: 129 VALUE: 3.0 TRY AGAIN: now - 2016 PAIRING: seafood or creamy pasta dishes Inquiries can be addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org ---
Very intense, spicy, very fruity, slightly tropical nose, but not quite clean, with some chlorine or reductive taint. Creamy, very full, weightless, oily, mineral, leafy. Similar taint on the palate too. Rather special, even balanced in a way, but weird. Spicy finish. Very long aftertaste with citrus and some bitternes.
San Diego WineSpectator.com Offline, 4/12/2013 (San Diego): Clear medium yellow. Bouquet of smoky toasty oak, butterscotch, coconut, pear, lemon, herbs. I guessed New World chardonnay. In 2011 I wrote that this wine's style is so far removed from my personal taste, that I can't score it. That remains true. It ranked at the bottom tonight, receiving no votes for first, second, or third place.
This was a peculiar wine indeed. The nose could be called bizzare. This milky this that also is in the nose of the Pinot(I like it in the PInot) is somewhat off-putting in Chardonnay. The taste was more textbook Chardonnay but even for 125 Dollars I think this wine was too xpensice or at least it need time to shed it's milky tones(if that's possible?) My score is more academical as the quality was high my I just did not like the style very much.
G6/ my house. single blind to all of us, tasting conducted by jane. wines were at perfect temperature and poured from decanters; structured specifically as a side by side to the 06 domaine leflaive chevalier-montrachet prompted by the infamous helen rant in her newsleter and the parker comments. predictably, and i suppose to our relief, nobody misidentified which was which, and you know it had to be easy if i got it right. these wines were so diametrically opposed that you seriously have to wonder about the pompous stance which led to such a total crap claim that this is "burgundian." if being flabby, full of oak, and giving off alcoholic heat is your style of white burgundy, then by all means, be my guest. look, everybody knows i drink a ton of domestic chardonnay, so i'm hardly an apologist for the general style, and i have liked some of the estate chards from marcassin in the past, most notably the 96, which i hold in super high esteem; but this is chardonnay run amok. in addition, it devolved in the glass, quite the opposite of the leflaive. i'm not on the marcassin list (like so many, when i was actually interested in getting on it i couldn't get a response, having "signed up" in 2000), so a tip o' the cork to my fellow partner in wine adventure, marshall gelb, for providing a pristine bottle for this tasting. perhaps, as one guest noted, we should have fired a big one up beforehand to level the playing field. NR, but if you pushed me, 82.
G6 (Jeff): Bright yellow hue. Focused nose of lime fruit with a slight touch of VA. Tastes of apple, butterscotch, and lemon with a heavy oak backbone that seems to be integrating. Rich flabby finish. This wine was served against a 2006 Domaine Leflaive Chevalier Montrachet and is not holding up its end of this side by side comparison. Both were served blind and it was extremely easy to guess which was which. This wine lacks the depth, complexity, and elegance of the Leflaive. In this interesting comparison, my tastes lean heavily towards the old world.
To celebrate the fourth what better way than a Marcassin Chardonnay? Opened and let sit after chilling as the last bottle had been a bit warm at serving. Medium gold with definite green highlights; rather closed on the nose as it is cold, but thick deep and viscous on the palate with a fine acid and smokiness to the finish. This bottle didn't reach the heights of the previous one but still excellent; drink or hold.
Lacking the depth and concentration, as well as the sweet layers of fruit found in the best vintages of Marcassin Chardonnay, this is still a treat. The soft textured layers of ripe citrus, apple, pear and tropical notes are further complicated with oak, stone and floral notes.
Full toasted oak but very well-made, delicious, very long finished. When oaky thing has gone, a nice nose of Chardonnay, more clean, nice balance.
Today, Chardonnay fron USA is more enjoyable, very good for one who doesn't has a chance to know/buy good Burgundy. Most producers in Burgundy change the way of making white wine recently, using more new barrel, new oak then the wine comes clean and express the terroir very nice.
IMO, Marcassin vineyard is very good but at the end of a bottle, it's just an average Chassagne-Montrachet from a good Burgundy producer.
Anyway, a nice to try, a nice to know.
Drink now - 2024.................95-97/100.................
Very interesting stuff! The nose was slightly dominated by acetone, which reminded me a bit of the Scholium Chardonnays a have had. The nose also had some smoke and butterscotch. It was on the palate however, that the wine really stood out. Very concentrated... smoke, a lot of butterscotch, melon and vanilla. Very smooth palate.
Clerico, Marcassin, Einaudi, ZH, Cerbaiona +: Slightly cloudy. The nose is smoky, yeasty with a wet hay note to it. Not bad, but a bit odd. On the palate, this is ok. Frankly, its flabby. Its not bad as much as it disappoints based on expectations. Certainly a drinkable Cal Chard. Solid.
Tasty stuff--the nice thing about Marcassin is that they release them late so they're very approachable from the get go. Plenty of backbone, good, white fruits, hints of citrus oil, and a bit of butterscotch. (PE: 93)
Did Saran Wrap experiment and given the low level of corkiness, it brought around the wine to drinkable if kept cold enough.
One thing that did come through despite the TCA is that there seems to be a stony mineral quality on the nose that I find uncommon in CA chard; this aspect seems promising. From what I could taste, did not seem over-the-top in style. Hope to taste a correct bottle someday.
Took to a special dinner with friends. Initially served a bit warm but this was superb throughout the meal. Great body and complexity with a spiciness and butterscotch quality that was continually intriguing. Although perhaps a just slight bit of heat (14.9 abv) this was captivating and didn't waver through 2+ hours A superb showing of what might be the best California chardonnay I have tasted through the last 20 years. Will certainly last though hard to say if it will improve.
I'll go with Arnie's note below as a good description. While we did not drink that bottle together, he did provide another bottle this week for the dinner we attended together, which I appreciate. We drank this bottle next to a 2008 Bouchard Genevrieres. There were similarities, especially around the toasted oak quality, with the Marcassin showing vanilla bean. There is more palate weight in the Marcassin too and the nutty note Arnie mentions. I prefered the leaner acid, the driven side of the Bouchard but to taste the Marcassin and track that wine within the context of a burgundian foil was intriguing for me. Arnie, thank you again.
What a wonderful bottle. Unlike any California Chardonney I have had. A rich nuttiness underlying each taste. Lots of fruit. Well integrated. Smooth from attack through finish. Lots of mouth feel; thick and rich as it coated my tongue.
Wine Spectator Offline, San Diego (Grant Grill, U.S. Grant Hotel, San Diego): Had a complex, almost late-harvest Burgundian or "dry Sauternes" quality, with nice mineral acidity providing structure. "Burnt butterscotch, coconut, tanning lotion" were comments heard. From a technical standpoint this may be a well-made wine, but it is so far removed from my personal taste preferences, that I can't score it. More than one person at the table relegated his aliquot of this $200+ wine to the pour bucket. This is why I don't like to spend more than $20 for a white wine.
The nose had aromas of buttery oak, vanilla and savory spices. The palate had flavors of apple and tropical fruits with buttery and saline-like notes. I like the oak in this wine right now. Very nice and smooth mouthfeel. This went really well with a bacon & egg flan with chives and caviar. That just really brought out the savory elements in this wine. Marcassin Chardonnay for breakfast? Well, after that pairing, it sure seems like it would be awesome! This was our first wine of the evening, and ended up being my WOTN.
I do wish that Marcassin released their wines a little earlier--I'd love to first taste these at 2 years instead of 4+. Not that this is in any way bad, more of a reflection that it'd be interesting to see how they show during the first couple years that most Chards get drunk. Also, kind of working in reverse, this wine has one of the longest finishes ever--it just keeps going and going and going. Almost freakish, but in a good way. As somebody else posted, there is still plenty of oak showing, and I think this will improve substantially when it integrates. Loads of butterscotch and vanilla on the nose, along with some floral notes and yellow fruit. The palate is viscous, with vanilla, orange peel, candied tropical notes, and a waxy element that reminds me of Rhone whites. I'm not sure this will be a super-long term wine, to be honest, because it's also showing a bit of heat (although it is only around 14.5% I think), and that heat may become more pronounced as the oak integrates. That said, I look forward to trying again in a couple years. (PE: 95)
Way TOO early. As of right now this wine wants to sleep so its oak can learn to integrate with the fruit of the wine. Significantly too young to assign a rating too. If you have any of these I HIGHLY recommend you put them away in a dark corner of your cellar. They are not ready.
Huge white. Strong nose and loads of fruit up front. Apples, peaches a hint of pineapple mixed with mineral.. nicely balanced with acid. However, very soft finish.. I am not a big Chardonnay drinker, but I was wonting for a lingering finish from a wine with this legacy.