Winemaker Joel Burnstein and his partner Marilyn Remark have been producing Rhone-style wines under the Marilyn Remark label since 2003 at their winery just south of Salinas in the Santa Lucia Highlands appellation. Joel was a trader on the Pacific Stock Exchange in San Francisco, a high-powered intense job that eventually called for a mid-life career change. As a cyclist who spent much time riding through the vineyards of Napa and Sonoma, tasting wines during his travels, he felt that winemaking, were individuality and personal expression were still important values was his choice. Following Enology studies at Fresno State he interned at Sterling Vineyards and eventually became winemaker at Jekel and San Saba.
Marilyn is a Social Work Supervisor in Monterey County overseeing government programs that provide resources to the elderly.
A trip to France’s Rhone Valley in 2001 introduced them to some fine Rhone wines and they were very impressed by their vibrancy and character. They wanted to emulate these Rhone wines in California. Using world-class Monterey fruit and Rhone-style winemaking, Marilyn Remark Winery has succeeding in producing a variety of premium wines. Their philosophy in wine making is a two step process, “1. Get great grapes, 2. Don’t screw it up.”
The 2007 Viognier from Loma Pacific Vineyard in Monterey has true varietal character with aromas of rose petal, spice and peach with accents of green apples and vanilla. On the palate there are lush fruit flavors of peach, citrus and orange peel with many spices. It has balanced acidity and a long finish. This wine is stainless steel fermented and aged in French oak barrels for 6 months. This wine is ready to drink now and will pair well with a cream-sauce pasta or roasted fowl.
The 2008 Loma Pacific Marsanne has intense aromas of peach and citrus. On the palate the distinctive acidity combined with the same peach, citrus, apricot and green apple flavors mix with a touch of nutmeg and vanilla. This would pair well with Asian cuisine.
The 2006 Wild Horse Road Vineyard Grenache has an intense aroma of black fruits that is very attractive. The flavors are raspberry, dark fruits, black cherry and a touch of tobacco with spice. It has a rich long finish.