(76 customer reviews)

Marcassin Pinot Noir ‘Marcassin Vineyard’ 2016

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14.30% /
750ml /
Vintage: 2016
  • CWA 99
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Wine Description

Marcassin Pinot Noir ‘Marcassin Vineyard’ 2016 is an incredibly limited and sought after wine due to the immense talent and expertise of the winemaker, Helen Turley. Turley first gained recognition during the original Napa Cult wines and has since gone on to produce a collection of highly acclaimed wines.

The Marcassin 2016 is a stunning display of the genetics and terroir of the estate. Grapes for this vintage were harvested in the late summer months under ideal climatic conditions, leading to a lush and exotic flavor profile. Upon first pour, an enticing bouquet of bright florals and herbs emanate from the glass, which translate onto the palate with succulent notes of ripe strawberries, sarsaparilla, maraschino cherries, and black currants. Vanillan bean, cotton candy, and hints of blueberry cream add an expert layer of sweetness, while still retaining perfect balance and structure.

Robert Parker and other top wine critics have touted the Marcassin 2016 as a must-have for any collector. 99 points now, the experts predict this offering could easily turn in triple digits soon. Decanting is highly suggested in order to properly experience this show-stopper. It’s an absolutely tantalizing wine that will cellar well through 2030 but why wait? Enjoy this highly exclusive offering now to experience the full extent of its beauty and complexity.

Additional information
Weight 3.5 lbs

Reviews (76)

76 reviews for Marcassin Pinot Noir ‘Marcassin Vineyard’ 2016

  1. William Lenk

    Great potential, hold unless you have multiple. Red and black fruit, sharp acidity, mineral/graphite, sandalwood, toasted black cherries, ripe plum, and jasmine notes.

  2. Jacqueline Roberts

    Balanced with bright cherry and earthy notes. Perfect blend of ripe cherry and acidity. Ethereal, not heavy.

  3. Donna Gillespie

    Polished Pinot with red fruit, mineral base, game and spice. Slightly warm-climate but pleasant. 93-94.

  4. Althea Huff

    Excellent full-bodied Pinot Noir, absolutely delicious.

  5. David Smith

    “This SC Pinot is the epitome of Sonoma Coast. Lifted black cherry, cola, and citrus aromas. Dense, rich palate, focused with black and red fruits and a clean mineral finish. Wonderful wine.”

  6. Jeannine Askew

    2012 Marcassin Pinot: Stunning. Beautiful glass of pinot, no need to argue Old vs New World.

  7. Catherine Harris

    Well-balanced CA Pinot, with rich red fruit, minerality, and integrated tannins. Slightly evident alcohol, but still a good choice to drink now or in 2-3 years.

  8. John Lasalle

    Awkward fruit, high alcohol, unique profile. Better to hold for a few years to mellow.

  9. Katherine Coleman

    Concentrated and fruit-driven, but just okay. Other options available in this style, like CIRQ, KB, or WS. Cost is $250.

  10. Emma Freeman

    Impressively excellent!

  11. Donna Castelluccio

    Complex Pinot with great balance and weight, perfect for aging. Supple and easy to drink, pairs well with cheese.

  12. Marilyn Cain

    Consistent with last bottles. Boom-shaka-laka!

  13. John Langley

    Marcassin is my favorite American Pinot despite usually finding them too extracted. The 2013 is just as complex as 2012 with rich black raspberries and a long finish.

  14. Megan Parker

    Best California Pinot Noir ever tasted. Pure, elegant, true to Burgundian roots. Fruit forward, well made new world Pinot Noir. Incredibly long finish.

  15. Kelly Farrell

    “US Pinot Noir apex. Explosive aroma of raspberry, plum, blueberry, violet, oak, vanilla. Deep and complex. Worth $300? Yes.”

  16. Sonia Perrigo

    “Delightful Cali Pinot. Light ruby color like D’angerville volnay. Bright cherry fruit and baking spice. Highly recommend.”

  17. Tina Williams

    Complex and dense, with chambord, mushrooms, cedar, floral notes, and sumac. Stunning wine. Decant for a couple of hours.

  18. Roger Casbarro

    Found Tocco’s Multi Birthday Celebration too sweet and rich, tasting and smelling like cherry candy. Well made, but not exciting.

  19. Erin Price

    Red strawberry fruit aromas with hints of earth and spice. Smooth and delicious, but not complex. Not for traditional Burg fans. Waiting for fall 2021 allocation.

  20. Carla Correla

    Ruby-brown wine with muted fruit and mineral notes. Not too young, but lacks depth. Wait for another 3 years.

  21. Wilbur Stacey

    Balanced, not overripe. Meaty, fruity bouquet with cherry notes. Autumnal leaves after the third glass. Retains Burgundian-ness. 93-94.

  22. Alicia Seever

    Full-bodied and elegant with notes of smoke, cherry, mushrooms, earth, and herbs. Enjoyable now and will be long-lived.

  23. Karl Valenzuela

    Review: Unpleasant chardonnay and pinot with sickly sweet perfume, fake cherry flavors and unbalanced alcohol. Group’s 1st choice, my 8th.

  24. Ruth Jolin

    “Perfect depth and complexity, one of the best Pinots.”

  25. William Knight

    Marcassin’s Pinot Noir is a deep and aromatic wine with layers of vanilla, clove, and spiciness. It’s highly defined by secondary aromas, but still has plenty of fruit. It can be cellared for a few more years and is a real pleasure to drink.

  26. Sandra Lively

    Review: Very good CA PN with notes of cherries and raspberries, moderate acidity, and good persistence. Fulsome and rich without being sweet or boozy. Best on its own but not as good as Volnay. Excellent drinking window now.

  27. Sharon Chasse

    Beautiful, ripe Sonoma character with red fruits, pine needle, and spice. Medium-bodied with high alcohol. A standout from the region without too much oak or extraction.

  28. Andre Oakes

    92-93 rated new world pinot with loose body and hints of orange, possibly grown in a colder climate.

  29. Rhonda Obermiller

    Marcassin Pinot Noir is a modern and ripe wine with notes of red cherry, raspberry, Indian spice, and earth. The candied cola element is certainly prevalent and it has a fresh and inviting style. Drink now and over the next few years.

  30. Jessica Hickey

    Needs 45 min decant. Good balance and finish. Consume within 3 years. No mistaking for new world.

  31. Mary Maloney

    Consistently great.

  32. Crystal Dunn

    Ideal for Thanksgiving!

  33. Pamela Blough

    Intense and complex, Marcassin is not for everyone. Sharp and challenging, it has a unique character of its own. Another winery with a waiting list, it’s worth a try if you’re a fan of “cold vintages.”

  34. John Mcmillan

    “Beautiful wine with finesse and restraint. Showed nuances after 45 mins. Has plenty of life in front of it and will be more interesting when aged for 15+ years. 13 Chard tasted better.”

  35. Henry Knox

    “Underwhelming reputation. Nice drink, young fruitiness, less terroir, medium finish. Not worth the price point.”

  36. Pauline Cordon

    Perfectly paired with grilled Copper River Salmon and the only wine my wife drinks two glasses of. BOOM.

  37. Clara Zink

    A full-bodied wine with ripe cherry, strawberry, balsamic, wet earth, prune/raisin, and herb flavors. Bought direct at release, it’s still improving, but its considerable weight may not be for everyone. Approaching its peak.

  38. Sarah Gonzales

    Perfect bottle of Pinot Noir with fragrant aromas of red fruit and marine soils. Unmatched caliber.

  39. Renita Thomas

    Rich and silky palate with red cherries, spice, and floral notes. Long finish. Delicious.

  40. Sara Adams

    Great Pinot, almost ready to drink.

  41. Audrey Green

    Wine needs an hour to open up, but is worth the wait. Enjoyable for a decade plus. Revisit 2023.

  42. John Ziegler

    “Received Marcassin’s 13 Chard allocation recently? Share your experience.”

  43. Kathy Plante

    Excellent Pinot, consistent with prior bottle.

  44. Cindy Freeman

    Perfect wine of the night, paired perfectly with roasted lamb. Nuanced, layered, with a balanced finish.

  45. Brian Roby

    Wrong inventory placement.

  46. Eddie Mcguffin

    Blue Slide ’06: Dark fruit, earthy, peak, zero tannins. Estate Pinot ’12: Kirsch, bright cherry. Drinking well, age would benefit.

  47. Janine Solomon

    Rich and silky palate with long finish. Ripe kirsch, spice, and floral notes. Beautifully developing!

  48. Ernest Kirkland

    Full-bodied Pinot Noir with ripe cherry, plums, black tea, dill, orange zest, and Asian spice. Low to moderate acidity. Ready to drink now. High-end Sonoma.

  49. Thomas Rios

    Review: Light ruby, translucent. Medium intensity red fruit aromas, but one-dimensional. Medium body, not very intense. Not a good aging potential.

  50. Tammy Hawkins

    Top Sonoma pinot. Robust with red cherries, berries, cola, and long finish.

  51. Daniel Janak

    Wine: Well-made pinot noir. Perfect with Thanksgiving leftovers, and for drinking alone. Bouquet: dried flowers and lightly scented orange tea potpourri. Palate: elegant, with subtle red and dark cherries, strawberries, and pomegranate. Medium acidity and spice, medium(+) body. Score: 94.5.

  52. Geraldine Jones

    Silky palate, complex nose, and long finish with ripe red cherry, raspberry, and asian spice.

  53. Patricia Duncan

    Thin, woodsy nose, weak tea hints. Better with dinner than alone. First bottle not impressive, hope others are better. Second bottle tasty, ready to drink. Top shelf girl, clean and pure on the palate.

  54. Donald Martinez

    Review: Dark red with perfumed nose of plum, cherry, and chocolate. Refreshing silk finish with nice balance, some weight to shed. Pepper and leather on the back end. Will try vintage in few years. Good job, Helen!

  55. Clara Grant

    Excellent now, will age gracefully.

  56. Ahmed Herron

    Review: Medium red color with a bricked edge. Ripe cherry, black raspberry, and spicy flavors. Best days are over. 91-91+pts.

  57. Marjorie Clement

    Spicy and slightly alcoholic wine with a mature maroon color. Dense for a Pinot, confectioned, sweet, and concentrated. Style may be divisive.

  58. Katie Ashley

    As a standalone, this wine was initially a tad confusing to me. likely more due to my general stupidity (as usual) than the wine being some sort of enigma. Here’s why – The texture was exceptionally glossy and polished, with a creamy mouthfeel that bordered on confection (again, texture-wise; not sweet-wise). The fruit was somewhat muted, with the varnish taking center stage throughout the execution. The flavors that did emerge were quite twiggy, with a forest floor component prominent on the nose and the palate. Did I catch this wine in transition? Is it trying to push out some tertiary flavors but hasn’t quite reached the mushroom and cedar threshold yet? Or has the fruit and flavor faded by now that it will become meh in a few years? …I’m sure some Rod Serling-type has the answers to traveling through this wine’s other dimensions of sight, sound, and mind., I had a hard time “grading” a paper that I didn’t understand, but kept thinking the author who wrote it was much smarter than me. What was I missing…?, Well, what was missing was…food! Throw in a perfectly cooked pork tenderloin (thanks sous vide!) with a brilliant Asian peppercorn sauce and you have a pairing that made the orchestra of the Marcassin’s delivery align in perfect harmony with the fare. , How to score? I dunno. It’s a style thing. It’s a pairing thing. It’s a relative cult-to-price-comparison-and-access thing. It’s a is-it-worth-the-hype thing. It’s all the things that wine geeks can pontificate about and decide what’s objectively right and wrong about a subjective experience with a particular bottle of wine. Psychology over science I suppose., I know there will be some admiral of the Marcassin Militia here who, because I’m an outlier and not on the Eyes Wide Shut Marcassin allocation mailer, will find my drivel, well, drivel-some?,… but I always find certain wines fascinating in terms of where they seem to land in the cult marketing category in relation to the wine itself. Like, how would I call out this wine if I had it blind? It’s polarizing in some ways. I guess I’ll have to discuss this further with my wine therapist at our Tuesday session., A very generous contribution to the evening that I was fortunate to examine and pick apart. Long…long…story short(ish), I liked it very much with food and thought it was a unique expression of the varietal on the domestic front, especially at a decade in age. Best advice from someone who might be seen as a Marcassin infidel: Drink with food. THAT is where this wine becomes exceptional.

  59. Paul Taylor

    Effortlessly elegant with light strawberries and earth notes. Like a Burgundy.

  60. Ted Campbell

    A big wine with dark fruits that needs time to mature. Revisit in 2025.

  61. Becky Keys

    Improves with air time, needs more next time.

  62. Carol Imel

    Excellent kabaza with dense casis and licore notes. Smooth and crisp with a long finish. Drink it quickly before it’s gone.

  63. David Thomas

    Fresh raspberry, red cherry, and strawberry aromas with silky tannins and a long finish. 14.3% ABV is not noticeable. Great aging potential.

  64. Patricia Losey

    Silky, refined wine with a perfume nose. Medium weight, ripe cherry, berry compote, hint of orange peel. Depth and slightly better on day 2.

  65. Joseph Gabriel

    Pleasing Pinot Noir enjoyed with friends and Steelhead at Tetherow Members Lounge.

  66. Willie Haynes

    Needs air to shine. Classic cherry, strawberry, forest floor, spice, mushroom, black truffle, medium acidity, perfect balance. 10-year-old baby, ready to drink.

  67. Joyce Conte

    Great ski trip with four families. Tried some amazing wines at WISP Resort. Loved the Walter Scott Pinot.

  68. Kelly Chang

    Beautiful pale ruby color with an expressive nose of exotic spices and red fruit. Medium intensity with a good mouthfeel and fruit-forward palate. Nice finish with a duration of 30-40 seconds. Excellent with food, especially with a squab mid-course.

  69. David Finley

    Beautifully fruited Pinot with mossy forest floor notes and a pure raspberry focus. Not over-oaked or too extracted. Lovely.

  70. Sharla Provino

    The 2013 Marcassin is remarkable, almost at par with the 2014. The oak and vanilla flavors are well- balanced, with ripe red fruit and a long finish. Exceptional quality.

  71. Josephine Szczepanek

    Day 1: Enjoyable, but not amazing with bright cherries and strawberries. Day 2: Same beautiful nose, completely different palate and balance. Shows amazing promise.

  72. Donita Kline

    Excellent wine at Stapor small vine dinner.

  73. Janet Bennett

    Improved since last tasted on 11/22. Fully mature with amber edge. Complex red and black fruit aromas. Elegant with mainly red fruit flavors. Medium-long finish. Preferred over 2018 Aubert UV, 2018 Martinelli Blue Slide, and Kistler Laguana.

  74. Vicki Levitan

    From California pinot noir perspective, my reaction is mixed and hard put my finger on it. It is not a Sonoma Coast Pinot and it is not a Burgundy; perhaps it’s more of an intellectual wine. 2013 Marcassin pinot is my first time to taste it and to start collecting it. (Full disclosure: i had late 1990s vintages of Martinelli pinots back in early 2000s and they were made / consulted by Helen; and they were incredible perfumy and unbelievable long finish lingering in the nostril even after the next day when you woke up as the bouquet is still “echoing” in your olfactory! That’s my first having such sexy pinot experience :)., It drank better than many Burgundies in terms of flavor profile and, like those top Burgundies, it has an incredible long and persistent (stamina) in red fruit aromatics over the course of a few hours enjoying it. It is not as rich or ripe as some of those top Sonoma Coast pinots (Aubert, PM, Morlet or Hartford court) in flavor nor having intoxicating floral bouquet. However, most of those Sonoma pinot I mentioned also do not have the bouquet stamina after 1+ hours as they tend to tapering off. The closest Sonoma pinot i can relate to (based on what i have in my cellar) are those 3 coastal cuvees of Occidental (SWK, Catharine and Elizabeth). The red-fruit driven flavor profile (with hints of forest floor but thanks god not mushroom yet!) is well balanced with long lasting aromatics and with some touch of viscosity coating the palate. , More importantly, we have to evaluate this wine from the perspective of being a 10-year old (without secondary notes creeping) as well as from the a very challenging (HOT HOT & DRY) vintage of 2013. (Note: some could argue 2015 could be worse as many don’t even make Pinot but for those top wineries that did … 2015 is probably my favorite vintage of the last decade). The pinot color profile has not faded much and it’s darker than most Burgundy or CA pinot at year 10!, 2013 Marcassin is definitely at the mature cycle and ready to drink; but it has sufficient structure to sustain it from falling precipitously over next few years. Now the real question will the bouquet start to develop over next 3 to 5 years like those vintage Burgundies? (Scanning CT reviews going back to 2002-2007 little mentions on that aspect). I couldn’t tell as neither i nor most others have ever tasted a young Marcassin to gauge its acidity level and tannin quality. Stay tuned for future update., It’s also incredible that Marcassin does not release their wines until they are ready between 7 to 10 years. I don’t know if there is anyone else in California doing that long bottle aging. Hat’s off to Marcassin gang!, Lastly, many of those Sonoma pinots I mentioned even though they were rated ~97 when they within 5 years old; but most of them declined at year 10 and their ratings fall back intt 93-96 range. Please note there are some but rare great California Pinots (typically with 13% or less) would age and in fact improve very well after 8+ years., I find this wine is best served and enjoyed at colder temperature similar to those chardonnay in the 50sF, Rating: 94-97; 95+

  75. Patti Wilson

    Great wine! Needs 45-minute decanting, but improves with time.

  76. CWA

    The new Marcassin 2016 commands immediate attention with a flamboyant bouquet full of fresh flowers (red roses, star gazer lilies, etc) and Provençal herbs. Succulent notes of bright strawberry,sarsaparilla, maraschino cherry compote, and cassis gracefully waltz across the palate like a ballerina. Flawlessly balanced hints of vanilla bean, cotton candy, and hints of blueberry cream crescendo on the provocative finish. This show-stopper merits decanting (15 minutes) prior to 2025 and should age tantalize Pinot connoisseurs through 2030 but why wait! 99 points now and likely triple digits soon.

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Critical Acclaim

CWA 99
California Wine Advisors
The new Marcassin 2016 commands immediate attention with a flamboyant bouquet full of fresh flowers (red roses, star gazer lilies, etc) and Provençal herbs. Succulent notes of bright strawberry,sarsaparilla, maraschino cherry compote, and cassis gracefully waltz across the palate like a ballerina. Flawlessly balanced hints of vanilla bean, cotton candy, and hints of blueberry cream crescendo on the provocative finish. This show-stopper merits decanting (15 minutes) prior to 2025 and should age tantalize Pinot connoisseurs through 2030 but why wait! 99 points now and likely triple digits soon.

What does Marcassin Pinot Noir 'Marcassin Vineyard' 2016 taste like?


leather, earthy, mushroom

cherry, raspberry, red fruit

oak, tobacco, vanilla

apple, peach, apricot

blackberry, plum, dark fruit

licorice, cinnamon, anise

citrus, orange, blood orange

cheese, cream, oil

tomato, rhubarb, chard

raisin, fig, prune


violet, potpourri, rose petal

Food Pairing with Marcassin Pinot Noir 'Marcassin Vineyard' 2016

Our wine experts think this Red Wine Marcassin Pinot Noir 'Marcassin Vineyard' 2016 wine would be a match made in heaven with these dishes. Bon appétit!
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Pinot Noir grapes exhibit a distinct elegance. Their thin skins and tightly clustered berries make them susceptible to disease and challenging to cultivate. However, the rewards of this persnickety grape are extraordinary. Pinot Noir wines possess a remarkable flavor profile, often described as silky, with vibrant acidity, delicate tannins, and an array of aromas. Expect to encounter red fruit notes like cherry and raspberry, accompanied by earthy undertones, floral hints, and sometimes a touch of spice. Renowned regions such as Burgundy in France, the Willamette Valley in Oregon, and California's Sonoma County have become synonymous with exceptional Pinot Noir production. Each region brings its own terroir and climate, contributing to the wine's character. Burgundy, for instance,... Read More

Winemaker of Marcassin Pinot Noir 'Marcassin Vineyard' 2016

Helen Turley

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Introduction: Nestled along the breathtaking coastline of Northern California, Sonoma Coast AVA stands as a captivating wine region that entices with its stunning landscapes and exceptional grape varietals. Known for its cool-climate viticulture and diverse terroir, this AVA has become renowned for producing outstanding wines that reflect the unique characteristics of the area. Location and Size: Sonoma Coast Read More

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