Roussanne is a grape native to the Rhȏne region in southeastern France along the Rhȏne River. In this region, you will commonly find it blended with Marsanne to create a Cȏtes du Rhȏne Blanc. Individually, Marsanne is rich and full bodied while Roussanne has a significant level of acidity, fruit, and floral notes. They can be found individually in single varietal wines, but they are seen in blends far more often. These grapes are great for nasty spring days or cold winter days when you’ve had too many big red wines because they are fuller bodied and bring along a high alcohol level. The acidity allows them to be excellent options to age, and over time, they can develop increased complexity and hazelnut notes.
The bottle I took from my wine fridge was from a winery in Paso Robles, Lone Madrone. One of the owners of this winery is also the executive winemaker at Tablas Creek, a winery in Paso Robles that specializes in Rhȏne varietals. Neil Collins has been the winemaker at Tablas since 1998. Prior to this, he and his wife Marci, joined forces with his sister Jackie to open Lone Madrone in 1996. (He also created Bristol’s Cider, which can be tasted at Lone Madrone). While I can find a bottle of Roussanne at either winery (and for the sake of transparency, I am a wine club member of both!), I just happened to have this bottle chilling in my mini wine fridge and I really wanted to pair it with my leftovers consisting of grilled chicken, broccolini, and mashed sweet potatoes, with a truffle cream (it was not picture worthy!).
The 2019 Lone Madrone Roussanne I drank was a clear, deep straw color. The wine coated the glass when swirled before slowly forming legs that trickled down. It had obvious aromas of honeysuckle, apple blossom, red apple, ripe pear, and pineapple. It was dry with a good level of acid to lighten the body of the wine a little. The body is partly due to the alcohol content, at a mere 14.5%, it is quite significant for a white wine. This level is fairly consistent for Roussanne regardless of the origin of the wine. On the palate, it had brilliant flavors of honeysuckle, ripe pineapple, apple blossom, apple sauce, and followed by a touch of minerality that added depth to wine. This wine is drinking wonderfully right now but if it were to age, the flavors would transform into dried fruits, while the bottle aging itself could add flavors of nutmeg or nuts to the wine over time. Most wines purchased are intended for immediate consumption, meaning they will not get better with age, but many higher end wines definitely do increase their complexity depending on their tannin and/or acid content. Since this is a white wine and lacks structure from significant tannins, it is dependent upon its acid content to provide its ageability! Cheers to another week and another wine!!