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2008 Beckmen Vineyards Marsanne**
07BeckmenMarsanne.jpg Region Price Purchased Date
Santa Barbara, CA $25 @ the Winery 3/11/12
A medium, gold-colored wine with a moderate nose of citrus, stone fruit, honey, biscuit and hints of almond. The palate is full-bodied with bright, well-balanced acidity and delivers more flavor intensity than the nose suggests, especially as the wine warms. While not very complex, the flavors are clean and bold (mostly ripe apple, lemon creme and tangerine). The mouthfeel is creamy and inviting due to 10 months of barrel aging on the lees, which highlights the biscuit and almond notes found on the nose. The wine underwent only partial malolactic fermentation (50%), allowing it to hold onto some much needed acidity. Beckmen is one of the few wineries that makes a 100% version of this varietal every year. While pleasant and well-crafted none of their versions have really made a lasting impression. Am interested to see what the 2010 bottling (from a much cooler vintage) brings to the table. An interesting wine for those who want to see want this grape is all about. I just wish they had given it a dollop of Viognier of Roussanne for some lift and aromatics. (13.9% abv)

2008 Calcareous Vineyard Marsanne**
08CalMarsanne.jpg Region Price Purchased Date
Paso Robles, CA $28 @ The Winery 2/15/12
A bright and clear, lemon-colored wine with a barely-there nose of citrus, apple and oak. The palate was soft and creamy, medium-bodied with enough acidity to keep it from being flabby. The flavors were not very complex, mostly lemon-creme, ripe apple, peach and toast. It was better the second day and with food, showing more complexity when it was warmer. Because I like to collect odd varieties, I bought this wine at the tasting room without the benefit of actually tasting it. They didn't make enough to allow for that. At $28 I probably would not have ponied up the cash for this wine. It's well-crafted wine, however, it just doesn't have the depth of flavor I expect at this price point. Shows why this varietal is usually used in a blend. Clearly they thought they had something special with this vintage or perhaps they had more than they expected/needed. In any case, they haven't made a single bottling since. Seems to still have some life left, though it certainly won't be getting better. (14.5% abv)

2008 Sans Liege Sancha Marsanne, Derby Vineyard**
08SansLiegeMarsanne.jpg Region Price Purchased Date
Paso Robles, CA $22 K&L Wines 6/11/11
A medium-deep, lemon-gold colored wine with a moderately aromatic nose filled with stone fruit, pear, sweet spice, lemon and hints of honey. The Palate is full-bodied with well-balanced acidity, fruity and creamy with flavors of lemon cream, peach, pear, fresh fig and yogurt along with hints of caramel and nutmeg on the lush, medium-length finish. A bit flabby and alcoholic (14.6% abv) alone, it was more focused and elegant with food (paired with a Cobb Salad) and showed more complexity when it was warmer. It spent 12 months in 100% neutral barrels, which added to the richness of the texture. It's hard to know what to expect with this varietal since it is rarely made as a stand alone wine and I haven't had many of them. I enjoyed it and thought it delivered a lot of interesting flavors for the price, but I can't say I was wowed. I wouldn't wait much longer to drink this as the heat is beginning to poke through.

2007 Beckmen Vineyards Marsanne**
07BeckmenMarsanne.jpg Region Price Purchased Date
Santa Barbara, CA $25 @ the Winery 7/14/11
A vibrant, lemon-colored wine with a moderate nose of ripe pear, peach, honey, biscuit and hints of orange zest and almond. The palate is full-bodied with well-balanced acidity and delivers much more deeply flavored than the nose suggests with additional notes of mango, ginger and yogurt on the fairly lengthy finish. While not the most complex white wine ever, the flavors are clean and intense and the mouthfeel is creamy and inviting due to 6 months of barrel aging on the lees. Only partial malolactic fermentation (50%) keeps the wine from being too flabby. Beckmen has been making a single varietal bottling of this grape since the 2000 vintage and are clearly committed to bringing this grape out of the shadows. Showed even better with our homemade Roasted Corn, Chanterelle and Spinach risotto. A well-crafted wine that deliver great varietal character for the price. While still holding on, I wouldn't wait much more than another 6 months to drink this. (13.7% abv)

2007 Bernard Faurie Hermitage Blanc***
07FaurieHermitageBlanc.jpg Region Price Purchased Date
Rhone Valley, France $85 Woodland Hills Wine Co. 2/5/11
A pale, lemon-gold colored wine with a nose that gets more powerful as it warms up, filled with aromas of apple, peach, melon and notes of flowers, minerals and sweet spice. The palate is medium-bodied and lush with medium acidity and a lengthy finish. The flavors reflect the nose with additional notes of cream, honey, toast and wet stone. This is an impressively crafted wine with plenty of life left, showing how good this varietal can be on its own. Tastes rounder than its 14% abv, but that's the nature of this grape. Am glad I got to taste it, however, I think the price tag will stop many people, including me, from actually bringing home a bottle.

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**** Outstanding | *** Delicious | ** Enjoyable | * Drinkable
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