Marcassin Winery:

A Blind Tasting of 2002 Pinot Noirs

Theme: The Hand or The Land? Terroir or Winemaker?

Conclusion: High quality Pinot Noir from around the world is comparable.
This Blind Tasting event was conceived and hosted by the owners/winemakers of Marcassin: John Wetlaufer and Helen Turley. John led the discussion and the unveiling of the wines. This was a terriffic event.

What we tasted (single-blind, in order):

2002 Etude Pinot Noir Heirloom Carneros $80

2002 Martinelli Pinot Noir Blue Slide Ridge Sonoma Coast $75

2002 Domaine de Romanee Conti Echézeaux $160

2002 Marcassin Pinot Noir Blue Slide Ridge Sonoma Coast $75

2002 Beaux Freres Pinot Noir Beaux Freres Vineyard Oregon $73

2002 Soter Pinot Noir Beacon Hill Oregon $48

2002 Paul Hobbs Pinot Noir Hyde Vineyard Carneros $60

2002 Jayer-Giles Echézeaux $170

Note: Blue Slide Ridge fruit is shared 50/50 between Marcassin and Martinelli.

Note: The DRC, it was suggested, tasted like it was made from whole clusters – not de-stemmed.

There were two dozen tasters, including Helen Turley and John Wetlaufer. The group's favorite was the Marcassin, followed by the Martinelli. The two Burgundies were the group's least favorites.

Jack’s Tasting Notes:

2002 Etude Heirloom Pinot Nose. Sweet. Nice. Thinking maybe Oregon now… Delicate long finish. Acids slightly fight the alcohol. 1++

2002 Martinelli Blue Slide Ridge
Hidden, subtle nose – fruit. Zin-like. More enjoyable finish than (A) Etude. 2+

2002 DRC Echézeaux No nose. Something different. Soft acids on finish. Burgundy. Normal alcohol. Acids are nicely integrated. I like. I like… but not that complex… less expensive? Needs time to ??? a bit. 3-4

2002 Marcassin Blue Slide Ridge A touch sweet… California. Very long finish. A touch of alcohol on finish. I like – or not so much later - will drink. 1

2002 Beaux Freres Beaux Freres Vineyard
A different bird. Something appealing on the nose. Slightly astringent, almost tart. Not Californian. Medium length finish. Subtle flavors. Will not overwhelm food. Complexity will show more over time. 3

2002 Soter Beacon Hill Not much on the nose. Delicious. Sweet. Slightly higher alcohol. Yum. Good acids. Dark cherry finish. 4-6

2002 Paul Hobbs Hyde Vineyard Wow! Big fruit. Sweet. Cherrybomb, but not that obnoxious. Bet this is the crowd pleaser. Good length finish with some tartness on the tongue. Alcohol is there. 1-2

2002 Jayer-Giles Echézeaux Biggest Nose. My favorite. Most complex…lots going on. Burgundy! Long finish. Balanced acids. Integrated. No hint of alcohol. The one I want to drink. 6-12

Jack’s Rankings:
1) 2002 Jayer-Giles Echézeaux
2) 2002 Soter Beacon Hill
3) 2002 DRC Echézeaux
4) 2002 Beaux Freres Beaux Freres Vineyard

Lunch - June 10, 2005

Mayacama Golf Club

Executive Chef Eric Center

Scallop Mousse Terrine
Beurre blanc

Stuffed Squab
Foie gras-cornbread stuffing, parsnip puree, roasted cippolini onions, squab jus

Watercress and Endive Salad
Meyer lemon-hazelnut vinaigrette

Cheese Course: Pt. Reyes Blue (cow), Redwood Hill “Crotin” (goat), Ossau Iraty (sheep)

Dessert: Espresso beans

Wines with lunch:
2001 Marcassin Three Sisters Chardonnay
2000 Marcassin Blue Slide Pinot Noir

Jack's Wine of the Day: 2001 Marcassin Three Sisters Chardonnay (served with lunch). It was amazing! Complex with great fruit, acids and integrated oak. One of the three best California Chardonnays I've ever had. 12+

Joanne's Note: The lunch, overall, was wonderful, but the scallop mousse terrine paired with the 2001 Marcassin Three Sisters Chardonnay was ethereal.

Joanne’s Tasting Notes:

2002 Etude Heirloom Cassis and butter on nose. Floral mixed with medium red fruit. Bitter, acidic, watery. Spices on finish and acidic. Aroma lingers on finish. Watery.

2002 Martinelli Blue Slide Ridge Earth, soft red fruit on nose. Sweet – chocolate and black currant. Acidic and vanilla with a soft finish. Watery finish. Round.

2002 DRC Echézeaux Flowers and pickles on nose. Brightest color. Dill Pickles – not an attractive nose? Acidic pickling spices. Light finish. Try with food. Interesting – yum with lunch? My favorite.

2002 Marcassin Blue Slide Ridge Alcohol and over-ripe fruit on nose. Hints of raspberries and alcohol. Biting acidis and hint of fruit. Too young to judge. I like the hint of raspberry. Sweet zin-like.

2002 Beaux Freres Beaux Freres Vineyard Hardly any nose. Slight alcohol on nose. Second lightest, dull color. Ketchup, earth, patchouli and coriander. Coriander and meat. Yum. Screams coriander. Want to drink on it’s own but it’s okay with the crackers.

2002 Soter Beacon Hill Russian River? Hint of pine on nose. Tie as the darkest color. Thin, hard and tannic. Too young. Elements of RR pinot on finish otherwise acids. Alcohol sings.

2002 Paul Hobbs Hyde Vineyard Russian River? Sweet! Martinelli? Deep nose. Sweet dessert-like. Acidic finish. Slightly sweet finish with black fruit – soft long and deep finish. Zin-like.

2002 Jayer-Giles Echézeaux California – Russian River? Tie with Soter for darkest color. Sweet, soft, powdery nose. Fruit and acid. Acids. Thin fruit. Probably Russian River – CA.

Joanne’s Rankings:
1) 2002 Beaux Freres Beaux Freres Vineyard
2) 2002 DRC Echézeaux
3) 2002 Jayer-Giles Echézeaux
4) 2002 Paul Hobbs Hyde Vineyard

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