Three from Marimar Estate in Sonoma, California

I tried these three wines from Marimar Estate.

Marimar is the second generation of the Torres wine dynasty, and sister of Miguel Torres Jr who until recently ran the Torres wine venture in Spain. In 1975 she married wine critic Robert Finigan and moved to California, and although the marriage lasted just four years, she stayed in California running Torres’ Sonoma outpost, named Marimar Estate. The Don Miguel vineyard was planted in 1983 at high density. 30 acres were planted to Chardonnay, and shortly after another 30 acres of Pinot Noir went into the ground. The location she chose was in the Russian River Valley appellation of Sonoma, some 10 miles from the Pacific and 50 miles north of San Francisco.

A second vineyard, Doña Margarita, was planted in 2002, in the Sonoma Coast appellation. There are 60 plantable acres here, although just 12 were planted in 2002 followed by a further 8 in 2005. All are Pinot Noir. After trials went favourably, the Don Miguel vineyard was converted to organics in 2003. Tilling is used for weed control rather than herbicides; cover crops such as peas, vetch, bell beans and oats are used, and composting is preferred over synthetic fertilizers.

Marimar Estate La Masia Pinot Noir 2014 Russian River Valley, Sonoma, California
14.5% alcohol. Organic. This is supple, savoury and spicy. There’s some ripeness here, with a glossy sheen to the red berry and cherry fruit, but also a distinctive savouriness, with notes of cedar, spice and leather. Quite structured, suggesting a good future ahead. Will reach a mellow maturity: currently the oak needs more time to integrate, although it’s already developing some harmony. 92/100

Marimar Estate La Masia Chardonnay 2017 Russian River Valley, Sonoma, California
13.5% alcohol. Peachy and intense, but with some nice yellow plum and mandarin notes, too. Has richness allied to freshness, showing generous stone fruit and a savoury, slightly cedary, fine grained edge. A lovely ripe expression of Chardonnay, showing good balance. Very fine. 94/100

Marimar Estate Acero Chardonnay 2017 Russian River Valley, Sonoma, California
13.5% alcohol. This unoaked Chardonnay shows lively, ripe peachy fruit with some pineapple tropicality and also a bit of grapefruit freshness. The oak isn’t missed at all: its absence allows the intense fruitiness to show through. 91/100

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