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Volume 34, Issue 9: July 2010

Marsanne

This demonstrative wine from the northern Rhône, whose white wine offerings in partnership with Roussanne, is seemingly finding a home here in California. It is early days yet, and the majority of the exceptional efforts from this grape hail from one vineyard, the Krupp Brother’s Stagecoach Vineyard in the Atlas Peak AVA just east of the hills that frame the Stags Leap AVA. There, in rolling upland terrain, Marsanne has authored several special wines that are well worth seeking out. No shy sisters, these, they are full-bodied, rich, fruity and capable of making the fleshiest of fishes and the richest of chicken dishes stand up and take notice.



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Found 8 results. Displaying 1-8.
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86
CLINE
Marsanne
 Sonoma Coast 2009
$20.00
Very Limited AvailabilityDrink NowSolo/Light Foods
Heading more towards dried flowers than fresh, and a bit candied where richness might have been expected, this one is full and somewhat fleshy, almost to the point of heaviness but is brought back to full drinkability by its pushy latter palate acidity. It will be more enjoyable as a summer day quaffer than as a mate to most foods.
Reviewed: July 2010
89
SARAH'S VINEYARD
Beeson Vineyard
Marsanne
 Santa Clara Valley 2008
$22.00
Very Limited AvailabilityDrink Now or AgeLamb
Yet one more bottling that confirms our impressions that Marsanne is the Rhône white grape to watch, this well-fruited wine juxtaposes peachy fruit and hints of honey with mild touches of anise and lime and is at once both lively and fairly full on the palate. Already slightly complex and likely to be more so with time, it promises to grow for another year or two in bottle.
Reviewed: July 2010
89
TERRE ROUGE
Enigma
Marsanne
 Sierra Foothills 2008
$25.00
Limited AvailabilityDrink NowFish
Clean and fruity with a jasmine-like fragrance, this full-bodied, eminently likeable wine follows on the palate with balanced, rounded and decently energetic impressions tied to lively, floral, lightly honeyed, flavors. Background notes of minerals and lime also lift the wine allowing it to be fine mate to fleshy fish like halibut or sea bass napped with light sauces.
Reviewed: July 2010
86
ROSENBLUM
Preston Vineyard
Marsanne
 Dry Creek Valley 2007
$25.00
Very Limited AvailabilityDrink NowLamb
If rather subdued when compared to its bigger and bolder kin, this mid-density Marsanne leads with an attractive, mildly floral nose of white peaches and fresh apples. It is full and rounded in feel, but its underplayed, not-quite expressively fruity flavors heat up at the finish.
Reviewed: July 2010
91
KRUPP BROS
Black Bart. Stagecoach Vineyard.
Marsanne
  2007
$35.00
Very Limited AvailabilityDrink Now or AgeLamb
Focusing on Marsanne, the Krupp Brothers have here created a solid partner to the wine above. It is not exactly a "masculine" wine by any stretch of the imagination or traditional use of the term given its floral aromas and deeply fruity, blossomy pieces, and its alcohol and weight on the palate are eclipsed by the Bride, but since both are deep and dramatic, the differences are less of gender than of perception.
Reviewed: July 2010
91
LA DILIGENCE
Stagecoach Vineyard
Marsanne
 Napa Valley 2008
$38.00
Very Limited AvailabilityDrink Now or AgeLamb
For some years now, the winery has been working with the irrepressible Francois Villard of Condrieu in the making of Rhône varietals here in California. Their latest collaboration has produced this remarkable wine that joins the list of brilliant efforts from Stagecoach Vineyard grapes. Its aromas drift towards blossomy yet stop short of being outright floral in tone and instead pick up notes of Meyer lemons, lime leaves and hints of Fuji apples all with a slight bit of honeyed concentration. Its finish is tasty and vital.
Reviewed: July 2010
96
JC CELLARS
Stagecoach Vineyard
Marsanne
 Napa Valley 2007
$38.00
Very Limited AvailabilityDrink NowLamb
Smelling generously of white peaches and sweet key limes with whiffs of honey and touches of wet stones, this viscous, very full-bodied Marsanne is no shrinking violet, but it is a near-perfect cameo of what winemaker Jeff Cohn does best. If very ripe, it is also enormously fruity, and its concentrated, long-lasting flavors of stone fruits and honey and sweet cream are as deep and well-layered as they are outlandishly rich. At the table, it will take on all comers and will work famously with the likes of Moroccan spiced chicken, sweetly sauced pork and a wide range flavorful Thai fare.
Reviewed: July 2010
91
KRUPP BROS
Black Bart's Bride
Marsanne
 Napa Valley 2007
$40.00
Very Limited AvailabilityDrink Now or AgeLamb
Full marks to this innovative blending of Rhône and Burgundian whites. It has great depth and enormous richness to its floral, slightly tropical yet deep and round aromas, and that simply adds up to the fine and fun experience of smelling the wine and knowing that it has delivered brilliance. It is full and fleshy on the palate, has enough acidity to stay in balance and makes us want to grill up a side of line-caught salmon that has been briefly cured with salt and sugar before seeing the flames.
Reviewed: July 2010
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Tasting Note View

Brief ViewFull View
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Rating System

THREE STARS:(95-98 points) An exceptional wine. Worth a special search of the market.

TWO STARS:(91-94 points) A highly distinctive wine. Likely to be memorable.

ONE STAR:(87-90 points) Fine example of a type or style of wine. Without notable flaws.

Note: Wines not marked with stars are often delightful wines. Each has unique virtues and any of these wines may be the best wine to serve your needs based on value, availability or for your dining and taste preferences.

95-98 3 Stars
91-94 2 Stars
87-90 1 Star
80-86 Wines of varying quality and value. See tasting notes for details.
70-79 Flawed wines to be avoided.

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Ageworthiness

Drinkable now. Unlikely to improve with further aging.

Drinkable now. Further bottle aging can improve this wine.

Cellar for future drinking. Wine will improve with bottle aging.

Not suitable for drinking.

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Food & Wine Pairings

Soft and fruity wine Quaffable by itself or with light foods.

Crisp white. Medium acid and dry. Fish or delicate flavored foods.

Mellow white. Dry to slightly sweet. Enough acid for white meats.

Full and balanced dry white. Try with rich seafood and fowl dishes.

Light Red and powerhouse White. Fowl, veal and light meats.

Medium Red. Balanced, good depth, medium tannin. Beef and lamb.

Robust Red. Full tannin, intense flavors. For highly spiced meat dishes.

Sweet Dessert wine. Enjoyable by itself or with sweet desserts.

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Availability

Generally available in most markets.

Limited production and/or limited geographic distribution.

Very limited availability.