On a lark we planted a few rows of Roussanne and Marsanne in 1998 as we enjoyed a wine made from these grapes grown in the warmer continental region of Hermitage in the Rhône Valley. These days you won’t find much Roussanne or Marsanne wine on the shelf and when you do it is often blended with other white varieties like Grenache Blanc to make a round and textured white wine akin in style to Chardonnay.
Our Roussanne/Marsanne is something a little different and while making a singular and intriguing wine, oftentimes, it is simply too cold to ripen the Roussanne before the rains begin in earnest. As a result, we only make the wine every now and again (about half the time), in warm, “early” vintages.
We would have grafted over to something a little more reliable years ago but we have been intrigued by the wine and were blown away by the explosive response from mailing list customers, restaurateurs and writers for our Roussanne/Marsanne. So, Nick tears his remaining hair out growing our half an acre laying down mylar in the rows to reflect any remaining sun and heat and clipping off rotting clusters from already depleted vines to make 30-40 cases of a nutty, stony, round but not rich white wine. Not everything in this world needs to make sense. Add Peay Roussanne/Marsanne to that list.