We are very surprised by the explosive response from mailing list customers, restaurateurs and writers for our Roussanne/Marsanne. We love this wine, but did not realize that wine lovers everywhere were waiting for a structured, complex, food-friendly white wine. Well, hallelujah! Unfortunately, we grow less than one combined acre of Roussanne and Marsanne. And let me tell you, Nick tears his hair out growing that half an acre (boy, is Roussanne a trying child). If the wine were not so delicious we would have grafted over to something a little more reliable years ago.
2015 Estate Roussanne/Marsanne, Sonoma Coast
Our 0.6 acres of Roussanne and Marsanne are the most trying vines we farm. They ripen very late in the season coming in with the last lots of Syrah sometime in early November. They have tight clusters that lead to burst berries and as a result can be susceptible to rot late in the season when the fog is heavy. Often we nurse them along by laying silver mylar in between the rows to reflect any available sun. There is a reason people do not grow these varieties in climates as cold as ours. But, these conditions make wines with vitality and purity. That is the ne plus ultra for winemakers who make wines of place: Wine with life, purpose, identity.
The 2015 Estate Roussanne/Marsanne is also one of the most harmonious Rhône blends we have made in years. The youthful nose highlights citrus and floral notes that pop on the fore-palate. As the wine moves down the tongue nutty and lanolin notes combine with eeswax, slate, and orange peel flavors on the very bright and crisp finish. There is a mineral component that reminds me of dry Chenin Blanc and the acidity is lively but not tactile as it has been in certain years. It is not a fat or heavy wine like some Roussanne on the market as the lack of new oak allows the varieties’ characteristics to shine. This is a lovely wine to enjoy now but 2-3 years will result in a more unified expression and, if desired, the high acidity and low alcohol will allow the wine to hold up while oxidized funkiness emerges over the next 5-10 years.
Archived Tasting Notes >