Roussanne is a finicky white wine grape that gets its name from the russet color of its ripe berries-roux in French. The varietal traces it’s heritage back to the Rhône wine region of France where it is frequently blended with Marsanne. Roussanne enjoys the distinction of being only one of two white grapes that can be grown in the northern Rhône appellations. It is however, most often found in the south of France where it benefits from the longer growing days and warmer temperatures.
The aroma of Roussanne is often described as being similar to a flowery herbal tea. In warmer climates it boasts hints of honey and pear flavors and can be quite full bodied. In cool climates it tends to be more floral and delicate. The grape can be a challenge to grow as it has vulnerabilities to mildew, drought and wind. To help boost yields vintners have been propagating only the hardiest clones. For many winemakers blending Roussanne with Marsanne allows them to add greater richness and sweetness to the aromatic tones and acidity the Roussanne is known for. Still some of the most prized offerings we have found at Gold Medal Wine Club are being produced on California’s Central Coast and feature 100% Roussanne. A correct pronunciation of Roussanne is (roo-SAHN). Tchin Tchin.
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