Helen Turley and John Wetlaufer's legendary Marcassin now available in limited quantities. Always one of the highest-rated Chardonnays in California.
100 Points Robert Parker: "The 2012 Chardonnay Marcassin Vineyard, which will probably be released in a few months, displays great minerality, notes of honeysuckle, orange marmalade, poached pear, and white flowers as well as a touch of quince. A wine of great intensity, yet incredibly ethereal elegance, this light greenish gold-colored wine is full-bodied, stunningly rich, and altogether remarkable. When you consider that they use 100% new French oak and 100% heavy toast for both their Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs, it is remarkable how little oak appears in these wines. This wine should age well for 10-15 years, as most of the Marcassin Estate Chardonnays have done to date."
...The visionary husband and wife team of John Wetlaufer and Helen Turley have created a largely unprecedented legacy of extraordinary quality that is unsurpassed by anyone else in Northern California. They have built a winery in Windsor, California in Sonoma Valley with 20 acres of vines situated high above the fog line, on the Sonoma Coast. They were among the first to recognize the extraordinary potential for world-class quality wine production on the Sonoma Coast. Their Chardonnay and Pinot Noir vines are planted at elevations between 800 and 1,400 feet. The plantings are either 5 x 8 or 3 x 6.5. The Chardonnay clonal material is dominated by Old Wente, but there are also selections from the Hyde, Mt. Eden, Dijon 95 and Dijon 76 clones. The Pinot Noir clonal material is dominated by the Calera selection, with some Old Swan that came via the old Martin Ray clone that came via Dehlinger and Kistler. The second part of their 20-acre vineyard was planted, at least for the Pinot Noir, largely with the Calera selection as well as the newer Dijon clones 777 and 667.The winemaking techniques are clearly artisanal and very Burgundian, although these Chardonnays tend to age better than most white Burgundies made since 1996. I tasted two vintages, the Three Sisters, which is a Martinelli-farmed vineyard from which they will no longer be using fruit, in addition to their profound estate vineyard. 2010 produced just over two tons of fruit per acre and was a vintage that appears to be slightly more intense and have a higher ceiling than 2009."
The second vintage of Dave Phinney's Disciples Red, the 2015 has arrived. The new Prisoner! Limited.
previous vintage 94 Points Robert Parker: "The Disciples Proprietary Blend, which is made from 93% Zinfandel and 7% Petite Sirah tips the scales at 15.7% alcohol. The Zinfandel plantings date from the 1880s and were better known as the source for Biale’s Old Crane Zinfandel. This wine displays spicy, peppery steak tartare, roast Provençal herbs, and briary black cherry and blackberry fruit. It has terrific body, length, richness and viscosity. It is a sensational Zinfandel to drink over the next 5-7 years."
From the new winery The Crane Assembly, the Disciples 2014 Red has quite a back story. In August of 2012, four friends (Dave Phinney, Darryl Browman, Kevin A. Fox and Bryan D. Sandoli) stood in the middle of a block of hundred year old Zinfandel. The vineyard was planted by George Beldon Crane in the late nineteenth century and is one of the icons of the Napa Valley. Hours earlier they had signed the paperwork to buy the vineyard and it was just in the nick of time...they picked the grapes the next morning. Since that first year wines were made from our G.B. Crane Vineyard under the el Coco label and the GB Crane label.