Tag Archives: Roussanne

fullsizerenderFrench Roussanne — Brézème 2014

Departing from the noble grape varieties provides many new and interesting experiences.  The French have a tendency to blend this grape with many others including Marsanne and Viognier.  Here we have a Roussanne as a varietal and made in a natural way, with as little intervention as possible.  The wine is not filtered, giving it a fullness that is more noticeable here than in many white wines.  Some sulphur dioxide is added at bottling for stability.

The appellation is northern Rhone and in the mid 19th century, its wines rivaled Hermitage.  Rather than being a record of the influence of the terroir, this wine emphasizes the effect of winemaking and vineyard management.

Strong apricot, pear and floral notes meet and greet you.  Noticeable is the bright gold color.  Beeswax, cream, baked apple and honey also feature and these are representative of the grape.  The wine is also harmonious, smooth, with a medium length finish.  It is very well made.

Of note for our education: Along with the varietal aromas, this wine shows some ‘fat’ with a lower acidity.  Although it still refreshes, when combined with rich foods it would not cut through the richness and leave you longing for more.  It will appeal to those who like a lower acid.  As a sipping wine, it can be tiring after a glass or two.  I suggest you taste it along side the Creekside Cellars Roussanne (which we evaluated in a previous post).  The styles of the two  wines will come into strong contrast.

Rating: 87

Emotional rating:  Rewarding to those who love richness in a white wine.

Available:  Try wine.com

Roussanne, the Delicate Wine!

Wine is like music: we need both loud and soft, fast and slow, soft and dramatic, to create Creekside Cellars Roussanne 2015interest.  Life, nor music, nor wine should be all the same.  We’ve evaluated some powerful wines. My personal favorite is “King Cab.”  But some foods and occasions call for a delicate wine, and we focus on one in that category today: Roussanne.

This grape is now all over the world.  Rhone is its home and it is their expression of this grape to which all other Roussannes are compared.  Delicate, refined, and an exciting pleasure to all white wine lovers.  It can even court a red wine drinker successfully.  It is difficult to ripen, but not here in Colorado if Creekside Cellar’s version is any indication.

Apple, pear, lime, and apricot spring from Creekside’s 2015 Roussanne.  Although not noted for its full body, this Roussanne is creamy, leaving the mouth coated and gently lubricated with the above flavors that will not quickly lose their appeal.  True, the alcohol is not that high (13.7%) and the wine’s legs wash down the glass a little too quickly.  But who cares for what the eye detects when the mouthfeel is so luscious.  This is a true sipping wine to be served for its aromatic qualities and its pleasurable fruit and creamy effects.

Learn from this wine the real meaning of delicate.  No rough edges appear.  The finish, its last impression, softly fades with a touch of acid bringing its silkiness and soothing texture to life — something winemaker Michelle Cleveland is very conscious of and something much needed in Colorado, where the heat can destroy the possibilities of a delicate grape, stripping it of its acid.

The flavors in a delicate wine are transparent.  You can taste through them to layers underneath.  No muddiness should be experienced in a delicate wine and there is none here.  The texture is silky, — oh so soft — brushing your palate with a gossamer touch.  Each flavor is like a sheer fabric or like the gossamer wings of a butterfly: fine and oh, so engaging to the senses.  Does it need to be blended with Marsanne for more body?  Not in my books.  This wine should continue to brandish its own richness and delicacy.  It does not need the traditional treatment of the Rhone.  The New World has discovered its appeal.  Do yourself a favor.

Rating: 89

Emotional appeal:  increasing with each sip.

Available from the winery.

When a Wine’s Aroma Entices and It’s Smooth Mouthfeel Seduces, It May Be Rousanne

Ojai Vineyard Tasting RoomOjai, Santa Maria Valley, Bien Nacido Vineyard, 2013 Roussanne 

There are few places on earth in which the Rousanne grape has found great favor.  The recent surge in its popularity both in France and in California is due to its enticing aroma and smooth mouthfeel.

This wine will demonstrate how a wine can add to its attractiveness by offering something different or more to the taste, and even on the finish, from the aroma.

The aroma is haunting, capturing you with reminders of pear, peach, and apple.  The acid and alcohol lie in the shadows, waiting their turn to reveal themselves and allowing the fruit to take center stage.  Then on the taste, the alcohol begins to play its part, offering a fullness behind the creamy texture.   The mouthfeel is soft and the fruit has blended into a pleasant, fresh, stone fruit impression.

On the finish is where the acid at last comes to the fore and leaves you with a vibrant experience.  Overall, this bright gold wine is very pleasant and is a great example of the Roussanne grape.

Rating 90

Emotional rating:  Will depend on what type of wine you love, but if you love appealing aromas and vibrant finishes this wine will shine.


You’ll find many great Colorado wines described in my book, “Experiencing Colorado Wine,” and you’ll find the description of the pairing of several of them with a great recipes by great Colorado chefs.

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