Updated: Jul 26, 2021
One thing that I love about this project is how I get inspired to write about a grape, and I end up writing about the grapes frequently associated with the region of origin at the same time. Then, I get inspired to shop for airline tickets. Roussanne is a green grape from the Rhone Valley of France. Roussanne is usually just an addition to Rhone Valley white blends, adding acidity to the weighty Marsanne, the aromatic Viognier, and giving the blend balance. It is also used in Rhone Valley red wines to cut the tannic structure of the Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvedre. Like Marsanne, as we find producers in the new world working with these historical blends, they are putting out bottles of monovarietal Roussanne in an effort to test the marketability, and we as consumers win.
Roussanne makes a beautiful, crisp lively style white wine. It is a low yield vine, and rarely used to make a monovarietal wine, so if you have not seen it yet, don't be shocked, the overwhelming majority is in blends. Roussanne is aromatic, aromas of apple, stonefruit, and in warmer climates melon. The acidity makes the wine fun as an aperitif, or with raw bar appetizers.
New world production is found in California, especially the south, and of course, Washington has some Roussanne planted to vine. As stated, finding the grape bottled as a monovarietal can be a challenge, but I will take on that challenge if you have any interest in taking a compare/contrast of three Roussannes, we can create a class.