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Jeff Cohn Cellars

2016 Stagecoach Marsanne
2016 Stagecoach Marsanne

Ooh, la, la the perfect Rhône white for Thanksgiving! Even more gorgeous now.

Aged for 18 months in French oak, this wine is a voluptuous not only in its aromatics but in flavors. The aromas are complex, whirling blend of lightly toasted almonds, orange marmalade, wet stones, honeysuckle and pineapple. The palate is very intense, succulent from the rich front palate to a finish that just goes on and on.

The blend: 85% Marsanne and 15% Roussanne

Why the addition of Roussanne? Marsanne is the star of the show, with intensity of orange blossom, beeswax and spice, add to that the subtle peach and apricot, then mid palate and length that the Roussanne brings to the wine comes through. Not many wines are as exotic and rich as this wine can be, or as age worthy: it will develop beautifully over 20 years, for sure.

Why This Wine?

As many of you know, I love the whites of the Northern Rhône. Nothing makes my heart pound more than an amazing Condrieu, a St. Joseph Blanc, a Croze-Hermitage or the big one, the elusive one, the one that takes me to the Rhône Tain-l'Hermitage itself...that right, a Hermitage Blanc! 

 Yes, Guigal Ex Voto Blanc is amazing, and yes, a Chapoutier make the hairs on my arms stand, but for me, it's all about the magic of Chave Hermitage.

Its hard to put it in words why Chave is so magical, except that to me, it demonstrates how Marsanne and Roussanne grown in the right terrior, can make a wine, no more like an elixir, smell and taste as great as this wine does.

 One of my favorite Northern Rhône varietals is Marsanne. Coming from great vineyards in St. Joseph, Croze-Hermitage and my favorite Hermitage, where it truly shines. Producers such as Chave and Chapoutier make wines that set the bar.

To produce a wine of this caliber is nearly to impossible and trust me I have tried with fruit from many different California vineyards and never reached those heights. Then the opportunity came from Stagecoach, and I thought to myself: this vineyard has the minerality, the elevation, that being a mountain vineyard in the Atlas Peak AVA. Let’s give it one more try. My first vintage was in 2006 and by the 2007 vintage, I had decided this was the place. With some help from a few of my Northern Rhône wine heroes, I got it dialed in. The rest is history.  

I know Hermitage is Hermitage and I know the Mountains of Napa are the Mountains of Napa, but without a doubt, I feel this is one of the greatest examples of Marsanne that has been made in California.

Vineyard Information

Learn More About Stagecoach Vineyard

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$.01   9+     750 mL bottles

$ 15   1 - 8  750 mL bottles

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94 Jeb Dunnuck, 93 Wine Advocate
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Wine Specs
Atlas Peak
Vineyard Designation
Stagecoach Vineyard
18 months in French oak, 30% of it new
Alcohol %
Connoisseurs' Guide
Wine Advocate
Wine Profile
Tasting Notes
With substantial ripeness and body, this white is blended with 15% Roussanne and was given 18 months in French oak, 30% of it new. Dark in color and viscous on the palate, it's intensely flavored in apricot and wet stone.
94 Pts Jeb Dunnuck Classic Marsanne buttered stone fruits, crushed stone, toast, and hints of hazelnuts all emerge from Cohn's 2016 Marsanne Stagecoach Vineyard, a rich, full-bodied, beautifully textured, and concentrated white that’s going to knock it out of the park on the dinner table. It brings serious fruit yet stays nicely balanced, has notable purity, and is just a stunning example of Marsanne from California. 91 Pts Conn Guide We have been mightily impressed by this combination of vintner and vineyard before, and the alliance is as splendid as ever. As rich and concentrated an example of any white Rhône wine as one is likely to find, it is intense, very full on the palate and laden with loads of very deep, very ripe, slightly tropical fruit framed with lovely oak. It is unquestionably extravagant and, for many, will sit at the brink of being too much, but its varietal fruity focus is extraordinarily sure and sustained, and it is a great deal more than a barely controlled, one-note wine that begins and ends with ripeness dictating terms. Reviewed: March 2019
Vineyard Notes
The region of the vineyard where we source the Marsanne and Roussanne is dominated by the typical red volcanic soils of Stagecoach, but what makes the area unique is its enormous quantities of flat rock, which provide exceptional drainage to the hillside blocks. The Atlas Peak Region has significantly less marine influence than the rest of the vineyard and has more shelter from the valley breezes, warming the region early in the morning and retaining the heat throughout the day making it the warmest growing region of Stagecoach Vineyard.
Production Notes
321 cases produced
Winemaker Notes
And so, it has been my goal for as long as I can remember, to one day make something that I felt best showed Marsanne and Roussanne. In 2016, all the stars aligned for me and we brought back Marsanne from the incredibly rocky soils of Stagecoach Vineyard. The last time we made this wine was in 2012, and trust me, this is a white that will age beautifully for 20 years for sure. To make 2016 vintage even better, I was able to bring in Roussanne also from the Stagecoach Vineyard. All that was left for me to do was believe that I could make magic happen. All fruit is handpicked and held for 24 hours in cold storage, then foot stomped. 100% Malolactic fermented.
335 cases
Other Notes
SO in the Cohn Zone: drink now - 2027