Taste: Floral aromas and a complex structure with delicate flavors of peach, pear, nuts and spice, along with mineral notes.
Dry / Sweet: Dry
Age: May be drunk within the first few years, but the best wines need about ten years to fully develop and those from Hermitage may need up to 20 years.
Marsanne (MAHR-san) and Roussanne (roo-SAHN) are grape varieties native to the Northern Rhône valley in France where they are blended together to produce the famous full bodied, dry white wines of this region.
Each grape brings its own unique qualities to the blend, with Marsanne providing body and delicate flavors of peach, pear and spice, while Roussanne brings elegance, aroma, crisp acidity for aging and equally delicate fruit and nut flavors, along with mineral notes. The resulting wines are long lived, can develop great complexity and are regarded as some of the finest white wines in the world.
These intriguing wines are still relatively rare and those from Hermitage in particular are in great demand and fetch high prices. However, examples made outside of the Northern Rhône – by progressive winemakers in Australia and California – can be wonderful and offer exceptional value.
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