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American Roussanne

Yaqo Homo Jan 19, 2007 06:26 AM

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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    Chicago Mike RE: Yaqo Homo Jan 19, 2007 07:47 AM

    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. c
      chickstein RE: Yaqo Homo Jan 19, 2007 01:08 PM

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

      1. carswell RE: Yaqo Homo Jan 19, 2007 04:40 PM

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

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

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

        1. Robert Lauriston RE: Yaqo Homo Jan 19, 2007 06:12 PM

          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
            z
            zin1953 RE: Robert Lauriston Jan 19, 2007 06:56 PM

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

            1. re: Robert Lauriston
              Yaqo Homo RE: Robert Lauriston Jan 19, 2007 07:22 PM

              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
                Robert Lauriston RE: Yaqo Homo Jan 19, 2007 07:29 PM

                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
                  Yaqo Homo RE: Robert Lauriston Jan 19, 2007 07:42 PM

                  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
                    z
                    zin1953 RE: Robert Lauriston Jan 19, 2007 07:48 PM

                    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: zin1953
                      Robert Lauriston RE: zin1953 Jan 19, 2007 07:49 PM

                      Which 1983 Hermitage blanc? JL Chave?

                      1. re: Robert Lauriston
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                        zin1953 RE: Robert Lauriston Jan 19, 2007 09:10 PM

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

                    2. re: Robert Lauriston
                      austx03 RE: Robert Lauriston Jan 21, 2007 10:18 PM

                      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. rosielucchesini RE: Yaqo Homo Jan 19, 2007 07:54 PM

                  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. www.sobonwine.com

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: rosielucchesini
                    Pei RE: rosielucchesini Jan 19, 2007 11:33 PM

                    (&#@!*, 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...

                  2. l
                    Luwak RE: Yaqo Homo Jan 20, 2007 03:08 AM

                    Some excellent Roussannes are produced in the State of Washington, by such wineries as McCrea Cellars, Syncline and DeLille Cellar's "Doyenne."

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Luwak
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                      nagrom RE: Luwak Jan 20, 2007 05:45 AM

                      I am partial to the Andrew Rich Roussanne, which is made in OR, from Columbia Valley fruit. Oak fermented so just enough oak to make it interesting.

                      1. re: Luwak
                        z
                        zin1953 RE: Luwak Jan 22, 2007 04:44 AM

                        Though not 100% Roussanne (it's close enough), it's fun to compare the McCrea and the DeLille (which is 100%), as both come from the same vineyard source.

                      2. w
                        Work4Tips RE: Yaqo Homo Jan 20, 2007 07:44 AM

                        I have recently enjoyed a wine from Demetria Estates in Santa Ynez called Papau (or Papou - I believe it's Greek for Grandfather). It is a blend of 50% Viognier and 50% Roussanne. I thought it was excellent. Sounds like it might be to your liking.
                        I am also very fond of the Tablas Creek wines and of the Roussanne bottled by Jaffurs.
                        What a great thread. I look forward to trying some of the wines listed. Thank you.

                        1. w
                          whiner RE: Yaqo Homo Jan 21, 2007 04:05 AM

                          Qupe Roussane Bien Nacido

                          1. SteveTimko RE: Yaqo Homo Jan 22, 2007 03:01 AM

                            I like Tablas Creek as well. Garretson has some nice Rhone blends, but his reds are probably better.
                            http://www.garretsonwines.com/id20.htm
                            Copain is a nice high end producer.
                            http://www.copainwines.com/Wines/inde...
                            Sine Qua Non is another high end producer, but I've never had any of those wines.
                            Several people make nice viognier, including Cedarville, Sierra Vista, Alban, Melville and Arger-Martucci.
                            Give Jewel Viognier a try. It's $10 a bottle. They use a shortcut in making their wine that leaves a tell-tale chemical taste to their wine. I can't remember the exact process. But for $10, who's complaining?

                            1. j
                              JimN RE: Yaqo Homo Jan 22, 2007 06:01 PM

                              L'Aventure, out of Paso Robles, CA, makes a great Roussanne. Sells out pretty quickly, though. And I agree with Whiner's recommendation for the Qupe Bien Nacido.

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                                Ruby Louise RE: Yaqo Homo Jan 22, 2007 08:52 PM

                                Haven't tried it in a couple of vintages but have previously enjoyed the Zaca Mesa Santa Ynez Roussanne, as well as their Viognier.

                                1. Bill Hunt RE: Yaqo Homo Jan 22, 2007 10:18 PM

                                  You've got a lot of recs. and most (with exception of the Rhones), I've not tried. Gotta' get busy!

                                  For a domestic producer of Rhone (known more for other things), I like the Marsanne and Viognier by Joseph Phelps, Napa. Both are very good examples of a "domestic" Rhone varietal wine.

                                  Another great domestic Viognier is Gregory Graham, Napa. Hard to find, but worth the effort.

                                  Hunt

                                  1. z
                                    zin1953 RE: Yaqo Homo Jan 23, 2007 04:56 AM

                                    Keep in mind that much of the "Roussanne" originally planted in California -- from cuttings obtained by and through Randall Grahm -- turned out NOT to be Roussanne. (This wasn't discovered until less than 10 years ago. For one account of this, check out the article here: http://www.jancisrobinson.com/article...

                                    )

                                    There IS Roussanne in California, but -- like Pinot Blanc -- much of it turned out not to be what people thought.

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: zin1953
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                                      JimN RE: zin1953 Jan 23, 2007 05:53 PM

                                      I'm familiar with this story, not to imply that it's not true. I'm also a big fan of Rhone varietals, particularly ones produced in the Central Coast and Paso Robles regions of California. To my tastebuds, Viognier and Roussanne wines produced by wineries that I like taste very different. I have little doubt that I could differentiate between the two in a blind tasting. The article that you referenced states the Roussanne usually has much less body than Viognier. I find this very interesting because I think that Roussanne, or what I've come to know as Rousanne, definitely has more body than Viognier.

                                      1. re: JimN
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                                        zin1953 RE: JimN Jan 23, 2007 06:38 PM

                                        Again, broad generalization BUT . . .

                                        To me, in their youth, a well-made Viognier is definitely fuller bodied and more aromatic than Roussanne. Roussanne will put on some added weight with age; indeed, it will not only improve with age, it often needs it. In contrast, Viognier is -- IMHO -- best in its youth.

                                    2. Junie D RE: Yaqo Homo Jan 26, 2007 06:57 PM

                                      Preston in Dry Creek Valley http://www.prestonvineyards.com/b1i.html

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