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Jan 19, 2007 06:26 AM

American Roussanne

Tonight, I opened bottle of Santa Ynez-grown Roussane, and it was a revelation.

It was from the producer Renard (never heard of them); I noted big, ripe, assertive, blossomy, yet food-friendly flavors with nary a hint of sweetness or overpowering oak.

Please list some of your favorite California producers of Roussanne (or other white Rhone vareitals). I'd like to experience more wines like this....

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  1. J.C. Cellars has a good line...

    IMO these are vintage-specific varietals. One year very fruity and complex, the next year very thin and austere... I'm curious... which year was the Roussanne you had ??

    1. Rosenblum makes a very good Rousanne. I think Garretson also makes one that is very tasty.

      1. Tablas Creek, a joint venture involving the people behind Beaucastel, makes lovely Rhône varietals and blends.

        Terre Rouge's Enigma (Marsanne, Viognier and Roussanne) is a perennial favourite. Have never had the opportunity to try their white varietals.

        If Viognier is on your list, look for Calera's Mount Harlan offering.

        1. I have yet to taste a California Roussanne that was anywhere near as good as some of the Rhones I've had.

          8 Replies
          1. re: Robert Lauriston

            Agreed, but Terre Rouge, Tablas Creek AND Edmunds St. John are probably the Top Three, IMHO.

            1. re: Robert Lauriston

              Then feel free to recommend your favorite Rhone whites in this thread!

              To be honest, the main reason (besides the very pleasant California bottle I had last night) for specifically requesting American producers is it's very hard for me to remember names of French wines.

              1. re: Yaqo Homo

                Beaucastel's Chateauneuf du Pape Roussanne vieilles vignes is the ultimate. One of the best dry white wines I've ever tasted.

                JL Chave's Hermitage blanc is a marsanne-roussanne blend but also great. Should have some age before drinking.

                1. re: Robert Lauriston

                  Thanks, I'll add them to the "to try" list I keep; that way I won't have to remember their names.

                  1. re: Robert Lauriston

                    The magnum of 1983 Chave Hermitage Blanc I had in 2003 was stunning. THAT was the best dry white I've had this century! ;^)

                    But I've had many bottles of Beaucastel CdP VV -- it is indeed wonderful wine.

                      1. re: Robert Lauriston

                        Yes. Sorry. Thought that was obvious from context, but I edited my post.

                    1. re: Robert Lauriston

                      I agree with you about the Beaucastel. it is spectacular.
                      as a side note, most of the other wines from the Perrin family are worth a try. some of their lower priced wines under their name are well worth the price

                2. I second, or is it third, the comments regarding Terre Rouge. Another solid Amador County producer is Sobon Estate; they have a nice and minerally Rousanne.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: rosielucchesini

                    (&#@!*, I just gave away my bottle of Sobon Roussane. Maybe I can hint to my cousin that we should open it with dinner this weekend...