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The Roussanne Grape

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About Roussanne

(Synonyms: Barbin, Bergeron, Courtoisie, Fromental, Fromental jaune, Fromenteal, Fromenteau, Greffon, Greffou, Martin Cot, Petite Rousette, Picotin blanc, Plant de Seyssel, Rabellot, Rabelot, Ramoulette, Rebellot, Rebolot, Remoulette, Roussane, Roussane blanc, Roussanne blanc, Roussette, Rusan Belyi, Rusan Blan)

Background

Roussanne grapes Map showing France's Rhône wine region.

Roussanne is a white-wine grape originating in the Rhône Valley of France. It is generally considered one of the dozen and a half or so of world-class white-wine grapes (those in boldface in the varietals list to the left of the page). It is not commonly bottled as a monovarietal; rather, as is usual practice in the Old World, it is used in named regional blends, typically with Marsenne but also sometimes with Viognier. it is an important contributor to world-famed whites, such as those of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, and is often the dominant wine in the blend (even up to being all in some places in some years). In blends, it is said to add aromatics, elegance and acidity—the acidity lending such blends the capability to improve with substantial bottle age.

Besides the Rhône, Roussanne is planted in meaningful amounts in Australia, California, and Washington State (it is also grown in Italy, but is a lesser grape there), and is beginning to take hold in Texas as well.

The quality of Roussanne wines in youth is intense aromas, typically of a floral character, but also of fruit and herbs. As the wine ages, an overtone of nuttiness appears (not an uncommon procession for ageworthy white wines).

Factoid: Roussanne is one of those wines that is widely believed to experience a "dumb period" in its bottle development: a stage wherin it is "closed" and unyielding. That stage, for Roussanne, seems to lie between 3 or 4 years of age on to 7 or 8 years of age. (Drink early, or wait a good while.)


Some Descriptions of Roussanne Wines

  • Wikipedia

    "Wines made from Roussanne are characterized by their intense aromatics which can include notes of herbal tea. In its youth it shows more floral, herbal and fruit notes, such as pear, which become more nutty as the wine ages. Roussanne from the Savoy region is marked by pepper and herbal notes."

  • Grower Blog

    "In contrast to the challenge it presents in the vineyard, Roussanne is flexible and forgiving in the cellar. It can be successfully fermented in large or small oak, or in stainless steel. It can be harvested at hower sugars but still have good body, or can be left to greater ripeness without losing all its acidity. It has the body to take to new oak, or stainless steel can emphasize its minerality. And unlike most white wines, Roussanne ages very well due to its unusual combination of richness, minerality, and balancing acids; many Roussanne wines can be enjoyed up to 15 years or more after bottling. . . Wines made from Roussanne are rich and complex, with distinct honey, floral and apricot flavors. They have a characteristic oily texture and a full body that is more reminisicent of red wines than whites."

  • Wine Searcher

    "Roussanne, on its own, is characterized by herbal, tea-like, aromas. On the palate it typically shows pears and honey with notable intensity. The acidity can be high if picked under-ripe, but if left on the vine too long alcohol levels can breach 14% ABV."

  • Profesional Friends of Wine

    "By selecting and propogating only the least problematic clones, vintners preserved Roussanne for two primary reasons: unique aroma and bracing acidity. Roussanne can be thin and tart and is not often bottled on its own in Europe, more often being blended with Marsanne in the Rhône and with Chardonnay in other areas. Roussanne performs well using barrel fermentation and oak aging and some California winemakers release varietal bottlings. The aroma of Roussanne, not as overtly fruity as some types, can suggest stone fruits (nectarine, pear, peach), also wild flowers, herbs, or herbal tea. The flavor is sometimes described as nutty and some palates may detect a slight bitterness, giving an overall impression of perfume."

  • Forgotten Grapes

    "As Viognier is known for its floral, perfumed fragrance, so too is Roussanne, only the scents come off as quite a bit different. Roussanne’s floral scents are a bit wilder than Viognier’s, evoking wildflowers rather than acacia, gardenia, and jasmine, and there is an herbaceous quality to the aroma that is likely to invoke the smells of herbal tea. You might also get the aroma of pear, honey and sometimes more tropical and exotic scents like lychee, macadamia nut, and apricot. Roussannes are well-known for their unique and powerful aromas and are blended to other wines specifically to add fragrance, so make sure to stick your nose in the glass and enjoy the scents deeply before you take your first sip of a Roussanne. . . [M]ost Roussanne wines have a particular tart acidic kick to them that drops onto the palate at first sip. This acid punch can be a little too strong if the grapes were harvested too early, but its high acid is one of the reasons Roussanne is so favored as a blending grape – it gives thinner wines some much-needed backbone and structure and can extend the longevity of a wine dominated by other grapes (this is why Roussanne is such a perfect partner to shorter-lived Viognier and Marsanne, as well as other fleeting grapes). Apricot flavors similar to Viognier will be present in most Roussannes, as will a bit o’ honey-like sweetness (that’s a bit of sweetness like honey, not sweetness like a Bit O’ Honey; we would have put the picture up if it was the latter). You are also liable to get some pear flavors as well as more tropical citrus flavors such as mandarin orange and kiwi."

  • Wine Cellar Insider

    "Roussanne is a late ripening variety that produces powerful white wines that offer pungent perfume featuring scents of fresh flowers, peaches, herbs, pears, spice, roasted nuts and hints of pepper. Wines produced from Roussanne are best enjoyed either within the first few years of bottling or 15 to 20 years after bottling. During the in-between period the wines are closed down and their flavors and aromatics are difficult to find."

  • Apellation America

    "With inconsistent yields, poor resistance to winds, and its susceptibility to powdery mildew and rot, Roussanne had almost disappeared from the northern Rhône until superior clones were developed. Now, it is only one of two vine varieties permitted in the white versions of the northern Rhône’s red wine appellations. In the southern Rhône, it is only one of four grape varieties permitted in white Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Roussanne’s main asset is its distinctive aroma, along with an acidity which helps it to age better than its partner Marsanne. Roussanne tends to ripen late and can benefit from oak ageing."

  • Temple of Wine

    "Good examples of Roussanne wines as stand-alone varietals are elegant, complex, displaying good acidic balance. The characteristic flavors are those of melon, pears, sweet white fruit, tree blossoms and herbs. Roussanne wines are not as fruity as other white wines. The aroma of Roussanne suggests a flowery herbal tea. As such wines age, they may also develop the flavors of honey, coffee, and almonds. However, Roussanne is not often bottled as a stand-alone varietal in Europe, as on its own it can sometimes be rather tart and not very rich. "

  • U.C. Davis

    "In France, Roussanne is usually blended with Marsanne and vinified as either a still or sparkling wine. The flavor descriptors include floral, honey, apricot, and sometimes mineral, steel, or lean, which are devoid of fruit or yeast flavors. Roussanne has good acidity, good tannic structure, and a strong floral component when carefully vinified. Wines are generally fermented in stainless steel tanks, and are often bottled directly without barrel contact. Other producers age the wine for limited time in new oak barrels. Wines are usually consumed while young (less than 4 years old). Roussanne is fresh and lively compared to Marsanne, which tends to oxidize more easily. Carefully made Roussanne with good acidity can also age well. Roussanne is also blended sometimes with Syrah in the northern Rhône Valley to soften the tannins and intensity of those frequently powerful red wines."

  • FineTheData

    "Smooth, fruity, nutty taste. Earthy and lemony notes as well. Used to blend often. Holds up well with age."


Some Roussannes to Try

(About this list.)

Though monovarietal bottlings of Roussanne are far fewer than blends containing it, we were readily able to come up with a good spectrum of possibilities, with representatives from France's Rhône Valley to Australia, picking up California and Washington State along the way. (Probably because Roussanne is not well known in the U.S., the French samples have little press.)

The quotations below are excerpts; we strenuously urge you to click on the green diamond symbol by each quoted review to see the full article.
  • Château du Trignon Cotes Du Rhône Roussanne, $13 - $21.
    (France)
         ($11.94 at Saratoga Wine Exchange).

    Some quotations and facts:

    Among the wines made at the latter property is the tremendously refreshing and downright pretty Chateau du Trignon Roussanne 2009, Côtes du Rhône. Made completely from roussanne grapes, this white wine is not exposed to oak, retaining all the liveliness and pert acidity that come from being fashioned in stainless steel tanks. Delicate aromas of peach, pear and apricot are woven with hints of jasmine and camellia, cloves and almonds. The wine is more emphatically ripe in the mouth, with flavors of spiced and macerated peaches and yellow plums highlighted by notes of lime peel, dried thyme and limestone-like minerality. It glides across the tongue with dreamy aplomb. The essence of a delicious and appealing spring and summer wine. Very Good+.

    This is what makes wine obsession worthwhile. A beauty, neither heavy or light, it lingers with the claims about Roussanne we love: honey, almonds, lavender and elegance. I store this with my collectibles. We’re finishing our second case. It gets better in the glass, tastier as the bottles evaporates. This hails from its native soil, the southern Rhone, near Gigondas. Typically one gets blends from France, because growers detest this grape; not because it’s hard to grow, but because it ripens so unevenly. I mean, who wants to go through all that effort for a $15 wine? Nothing under $20 tastes better.

    ♣ Wine Advocate (November 2013), 89 points.

    ♣ Wine Spectator (date unknown), 88 points.

    It’s unusual to find 100% Roussanne wines, but this is a terrific example at a realistic price. It’s broad and mouth-coating but still seems fresh, with melon, pear and pineapple flavors that linger on the tightly focused finish. Drink over the next year or two. 90 points

    2011 (2½ *): lime and nut airs, dried fruits, a smoky pear fruit. Attractive, squeezy, aromatic fruit led by apricot on the palate; builds up a gradual glow. It has a white fruit jam, pebbly grain late stage. 2010 (3 *): very pale. There is a bonny spread of fruit across the nose which shows some white jam and gras, a spot of opulence – this is a good example of Roussanne. The palate is stylish, travels well; there is fennel in its flavour, good bite, also licorice. There is more grip on the palate than the nose suggests. The finish is decisive, with discreet weight there, spice and herb notes. Versatile with food, cold meats, smoked fish, salads. 2009 (2½ *): white fruit, jam fruit aroma. The attack shows an evolution, with a compact run along the palate. It ends on smoke and vanilla, is on song now.

    This deep yet bright Roussanne comes from the Quiot family in France’s Cotes du Rhone. It’s young yet and will still develop over time (though it’s completely made in stainless steel, no oak). Fresh, full white flowers with touches of green grape and camellia. Pleasant indeed.


  • Verget du Sud Roussanne, $12 - $23.
    (France)

    Some quotations and facts:

    These debut [2004] Provencal whites very much belong in the Verget style of concentrated, finely-etched wine with no shortage of acidity, but have obviously benefited from a fair amount of sunshine. The Roussanne has that lime/green fruit/floral scent that characterises the variety but I found it more muted and less exuberant than the Marsanne. I am told by the UK importers Lea & Sandeman that when they showed the pair at a trade tasting recently, it was the Roussanne that impressed their customers more and, as a certified Roussanne fan I am certainly not discounting it, currently sold at the same price as the Marsanne.

    For an inexpensive comparable from the south of France, look for the Verget du Sud 2006 Roussanne, light, spicy and just a bit yeasty.

    Those who wish to get to grips with how the two white Hermitage grapes Roussanne and Marsanne compare could do very much worse than invest in a bottle each of Verget du Sud, Roussanne 2004 Vin de Pays de Vaucluse and Verget du Sud, Marsanne 2004 Vin de Pays de Vaucluse. Jean Marie Guffens of Burgundy imposes his tight, top quality winemaking style on these two grapes grown at his southern outpost in the Lubéron.

    This wine does not have that bone dry minerality (structure) I adore. Rather, there is a bit of assertive straw and herb with a touch of sweetness, while remaining on the whole a dry wine. It hangs in the mouth a bit, too. I mean that it has good body and a pretty long finish for a white, but still clean.


  • Zaca Mesa Roussanne, $17 - $50.
    (California)

    Some quotations and facts:

    The 2007 Rousanne is a super star. It is very complex, and takes some time to open in the glass, but when it does, look out. It has a full aroma of apricots, honey and spice. The luscious fruit is balanced by good acidity, leading to a long, lush finish with hints of minerals. This is a rich, full-bodied wine. The Rousanne was a favorite at local tasting about 18 months ago, and it’s easy to see why.

    Though viognier gets more hype, it is becoming fairly clear that roussanne is the more promising white Rhône grape in California. Wines made from it do not seem to become overly blowsy or fat, as the variety seems to thrive in Golden State sunshine. This rendition, from the consistently reliable Zaca Mesa winery, tastes rich but balanced, with pear and melon fruit flavors enhanced by secondary notes resembling nuts and spice.

    A pale, lemon-gold-colored wine with a subtle nose of citrus, pear, honey and chalk with hints of yeast. The palate is medium-bodied and round with refreshing acidity and flavors of pear, melon, lime, apple and notes of minerals and biscuit on the medium-length finish. While the wine is more intense than the nose suggests, I was expecting a bit more depth and persistance, though I did really enjoy the creaminess of the mouthfeel from the aging "sur lie" in French Oak. It certainly has enough acidity to keep going for quite awhile and might, like many roussannes, actually get better with some age on it. It's a good wine for the price that is very true to the varietal for those who want to see what Roussanne is all about.

    Roussanne is really hard to pull off in California, but if anyone can do it, Zaca Mesa can. It’s as good as the 2007, showing nectarine, pear and tangerine flavors, with the creamy, yeasty complexities of a fine barrel-fermented Chardonnay. It’s dry and crisp in acidity and even has a fine, steely minerality. 93 points.

    But, wow, the wine is fabulous. It has the classic Roussanne elements of beeswax, citrus rind, and herbs, and it is full-bodied enough, if not very oaky, to satisfy any Chardonnay enthusiast. This is very pleasant to sip, but it is close to being a vin de meditation, by which we mean a wine so complex and interesting that it commands all attention. Not quite, but there is a great deal going on here. . . If you don't know Roussanne, this will be an exciting new white wine for you. If you do, it is a very good example of what the grape is capable of.

    Another wine with brilliant gold color with smell and flavor of honey and apricot. There's alot of peach in this one also, with a bit of gold raisin and sweet rye. It has a nice mineral streak as well. The body is medium plus with decent flavor length. 89 points

    This Roussanne has great weight and viscosity in your mouth. It is aged sur lee so it is mellower.

    The result? An intense profile of flavors and weight, but a versatility that captures every season. It pairs with so many different flavors! The first thing that caught my eye was this wine's yellow golden color. On the nose and palate, a blend of fall fruits, like pears and figs, with an undertone of toasted nuts. There was a tangy bite at the finish, but overall this wine was nicely balanced and offered a slight minerality that makes it a great selection as we move further into November.


  • Yangarra "Single Vineyard" Roussanne, $17 - $26.
    (Australia)

    Some quotations and facts:

    Roussanne in Australia and in the hands of Yangarra is a brilliant and very fine white wine of complexity, depth, and nuance. .  Whole-cluster pressed, fermented with indigenous yeast in seasoned French oak and aged for six months in those barrels the result is a fascinating wine. The color is a brilliant medium yellow leading to a deep, complex bouquet suggesting ripe peach, flowers, minerals, and spice accents both from the variety and the older, seasoned French oak. The palate is supple, medium-full, yet seems almost weightless with surprising nuances and shades of flavor brightened with crystalline mineral.

    The wine has a pale lemon green colour with slow thick legs. On the nose are notes of honey, pear, and sweet spice. It is developing and of medium intensity. Brown pear, white pepper, and sandalwood make up the palate, along with some of the herbal tea for which Roussanne is often known. It’s dry, with medium plus acid, medium plus body, medium plus length, and a slightly sour finish. I didn’t check the ABV on the bottle, but I felt the weight of some alcohol, even if not the heat. This is a good wine. It certainly has varietal typicity for a warm climate Roussanne, and I could have enjoyed it purely on that basis. It’s a big white, and while that’s not to everyone’s taste, it hit the spot for me. There’s body, length, complexity, and just a lovely textured mouth feel which to me says that someone cared when they made this wine.

    Made in a rich, opulent style for near-term consumption, Yangarra’s Roussanne features exotic notes of toasted hazelnuts, bananas Foster and ripe pineapple. It’s full-bodied without being overly heavy, with a long finish redolent of tropical fruit and citrus.

    Light citrus, orange, nice round mouth feel, lemon, tart, something tropical hiding, spicy nose, hint of orange cream, nice long finish, smoke.

    A peacock wine, head held high and gorgeous tail fathers spread wide, displaying colour and vitality. A beautiful wine full of expression as it travels across the palate with a good but not lengthy finish. 94 points and very good value at $25 [Australian]

    Pretty floral notes with bits of herbs. The mouth is full of citrus with a light body and some refreshing acidity.

    It’s interesting to taste these southern Rhone varieties, but they tend to work better together (with Marsanne and Viognier for example). On its own, this variety doesn’t offer much flavour, perhaps due to the winemaker opting to pick early (12%). The result is a well-made, simple, crisp white of no great impact. This wine gets 94 from Nick Stock and almost 94 from Gazza at the Winefront, so maybe I don’t get the style.

    [A]n apricot & greengage burst, the natural weight refreshed & balanced by great judgement.


  • Andrew Rich "Columbia Valley" Roussanne, $18 - $24.
    (Washington State grapes, vinified in Oregon; do not confuse with his Ciel Du Cheval Vineyard bottlings)

    Some quotations and facts:

    A deftly made wine, this exceptional Roussanne blends fruit into a creamy, luscious blend of tropical fruits, apricots, whole cream, nutmeg and more. There is so much fruit that it’s easy to overlook the crisp acid underpinning, the nice details of baking spices and the exceptional strength through the lingering finish.

    Medium straw yellow color. Restrained mineral nose with a little spice. Round in the mouth with good acidity and fruit , mineral and spice flavors. Long pleasant finish. There may be a little residual sugar in this wine. Very nice drinking in the backyard on a warm afternoon.

    ♣ International Wine Cellar (date unknown), 89 points

    Oregon's Andrew Rich makes a brilliant roussanne from Columbia Valley grapes. His 2006 Roussanne is an aromatic, luscious wine with intriguing scents of beeswax, honey and caramel, melded to tropical fruits and details of baking spices.

    Andrew Rich makes his wines in Carlton, Oregon, but once again, the grapes used in his roussanne come from Washington's Columbia River Valley, specifically the Ciel de Cheval, Alder Ridge and Lonesome Springs sub-regions. . . During the course of comparing these two wines in a blind tasting, our latest panel concluded that the salient characteristic of the Andrew Rich roussanne was the flavor of apricots -- but very dry as opposed to sweet. Less assertive than the [other] offering, the Andrew Rich roussanne has a slightly lighter body and a notably clean, slightly acidic finish. As such, it can accompany a wide range of foods.

    Light golden yellow color; ripe apple, tart pear nose; ripe apple, tart pear palate; medium-plus finish. 88+ points.


  • Novelty Hill "Stillwater Creek Vineyard" Roussanne, $17 - $23.
    (Washington State)

    Some quotations and facts:

    Here’s a tasty winter white wine for you. Produced by Washington winemaker Mike Januik, this white Rhone grape varietal has quickly become one of my favorite. Add Januik’s winemaking touch and you’ve got a winner. . . At first whiff you could be inclined to think you’re about to try a chardonnay, but don’t let the nose or warm yellow color fool you. . . The finish at first left the impression of white grape juice, but the more I let it linger the more I noticed the sweet honeysuckle notes. I also tasted peaches and pear. . . What I like about this wine is it provides crisp citrus notes, but also a medium body that gives some weight to the wine. The wine is aged sur lie for 10 months (which means the discarded yeast cells during fermentation stay in the juice, giving it a rounded mouth) and barrel fermented in neutral French oak. Only a small number of cases were produced, meaning some good TLC went into making this wine.

    There is a strong underpinning of mineral in this wine, supporting crisply defined flavors of melon, pineapple and citrus peel. A medium-ripe, medium-weight, supremely well-crafted and balanced Roussanne. 88 points

    ♣ Wine Advocate (date unknown, 2008 vintage), 90 points

    ♣ Wine Spectator (date unknown, 2006 vintage), 90 points

    The nose is marked by mineral and floral notes. There is an almost spicy quality to both the nose and taste. The taste is smooth and opulent. Some oak shows through on the nose and mid-palate as the wine warms up a little.

    Vibrant and expressive with wild honeysuckle, juicy melon and fresh citrus aromas and flavors that linger across a lengthy, refreshing finish. From Novelty Hill’s family-owned vineyard.

    This bright yellow-gold Rhone varietal is from Novelty Hill's estate vineyard, Stillwater Creek, which is gaining notoriety [sic] for producing fruit with balanced acidity and loads of flavor. Fresh lime and banana cream pie flavors make this unique dry white a lovely aperitif or a good pairing with light foods.

    Broadly appealing flavors of melon, white peach and pineapple are round and full, supported with sweet, spicy barrel flavors.

    Very pale yellow color. Exceptionally complex floral nose with white nectarine, and on the palate, green gauge plums, green grapes (imagine that!) and pineapple are balanced by sweet cream. We opened a bottle on Sunday night when it showed well, and finished the last three inches last night when it showed even better. It's a quietly powerful, well-made wine that speaks to exactly what it is--it is most definitely not chardonnay or viognier or any other white grape, and you can taste every penny of its [price]. As such, it's unique within the pantheon of Washington white wines, and I just put in an order for six more bottles to tide us over the winter.


  • Truchard Roussanne, $18 - $25.
    (California)

    Some quotations and facts:

    Every bit as compelling as well-made Chardonnay, that Roussane remains under the radar to 98% of consumers means more accessibility for those in the know. As this example proves, this Northern Rhone white variety has the depth, character, and potential for seriousness which make it worthy of your attention. And thanks to its California provenance, Truchard's Roussanne possesses all the funk of its French cousins plus a strong, forward presence that makes it even more broadly appealing. Delicious and thought-provoking. I've been thinking about this wine since.

    Rich flavors of green apple, honeydew melon and lychee are balanced by sweet aromas of nectarine, pears and pineapple all brought together with a citrus-mineral acidity which makes for an unctuous yet clean bright palate.

    In the winery, Roussanne can become unbalanced if the alcohol levels and acidity aren’t kept in check. But if the stars align and the winemaker is vigilant, Roussanne produces a very aromatic and elegant wine. And that’s how I would describe the Truchard 2012 Roussanne. . . Thanks to a partial malolactic fermentation, the mouthfeel was creamy but not overpowering with ample acidity. Aromas of floral honeysuckle, cinnamon and baked goods were followed by flavors of white fruits, citrus and spice. The first bottle had a hint of quince and my wife said it burned her nose, however, I suspect that could have been a bit of reduction or an off flavor due to a slight amount of TCA from the first [slightly corked] sample. . . The second bottle of this same wine had no cork taint and had a more defined spicy complexity with fresher, more vibrant flavors.

    A bunch of people on Facebook asked me to talk to Anthony about the Roussanne, in my estimation Truchard’s most distinctive wine and certainly an unlikely player in Napa. . . To start, the wine was only for their [own] consumption, until the tasting room staff ran out of Chardonnay and in a genius move poured Roussanne instead. That move set off a wave of excitement and the winery now has a reputation for this amazing grape up and down Napa Valley. . . The wine was like pineapple, apricot, and honey ([the winemaker] said that even on the dry wine, sometimes grapes with botrytis get thrown in, giving a little honeyed note to it). On a second whiff, WOW! I got parsley, celery, and fresh garden herb smells. From the oak, there was a little sawed wood and baked cinnamon flavor too. Taste: Just as complex as the smell, but in a different way. Canteloupe, pineapple, and lemon cookie dominated at first but after I swallowed it was just like a Score or Heath bar without the chocolate — tons of toffee flavor. There was a touch of vanilla and popcorn too. I could sense the oak tannin a little bit in the wine — playing off the rich, waxy flavor (weird description, I know. Think wax lips from when you were little or when you put Chapstick on and a little gets in your mouth), was a tiny hit of bitterness. (BTW — I know all these descriptions sound ridiculous, but if you try this wine, I think you’ll get it immediately). . . This is a great wine. One of my favorite white wines out of California, by far. It’s got a ton of complexity — there’s so much to think about when you taste this wine. *Note: . . this wine has to be served a little warmer (not right out of the fridge) to taste amazing. Make sure it’s not ice cold . . Tastes totally different at a warmer temperature.

    This light yellow colored Roussanne opens with a honey and pear like bouquet with a hint of apple. On the palate, this wine is full bodied, ripe and shows some sweetness. The flavor profile is a honeyed pear with notes of apple and apricot. The finish is semi-dry and its flavors linger for quite a while.

    The nose was very light, sweet with honey, ripe pear, and cherry blossom. The nose, however, was a bit deceptive. The sweetness was noticed first on the tip of the tongue, but immediately overpowered by a wonderfully balanced crisp and slightly acidic finish. The lingering finish returned the ripe pear and honey, and also made the light effervescence noticeable. I don’t know if the effervescence was natural or added, but it was the perfect addition to the wine. . . and when the bottle was empty, I was left wishing for more.

    The Truchard Roussanne is a fairly dry wine. The nose is light apple, with a full bodied, well-balanced green apple and lemon on palate. It has good acid balanced with a little vanilla and a hint of butter butter, making it smooth but layered. It is something of a Chardonny or Sauvignon Blanc alternative. Both of us liked it a lot.

    This Roussanne is wonderfully aromatic, with lots of peach pit, honeysuckle, and pineapple. It’s exotic in the way that Viognier is. The palate carries forth all of those great fruit flavors, but is made more complex by the delicate smokiness, soft vanilla, and buttery notes. It is not bone dry, but the residual sugar is well-balanced by the lively acidity. The fairly high alcohol (14.1%), acidity, and slight sweetness make this a full-bodied wine. Very enjoyable!

    This Carneros is a medium gold in the glass has a pronounced tropical fruit and pineapple that smells "old world." Underneath the forward grangrances there is subtle peach. Palate--This wine has a sharp acidity, is off dry with solid tropical fruit flavors.


For a Splurge

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