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Posted by Burke Morton On July - 16 - 2009

MarsanneMarsanne is the source of some of the Rhône Valley's greatest white wines, but is (perhaps owing to the rarity of white wine from this region) a relatively obscure white wine grape as far as the wine-buying public at large is concerned. It is the Falstaff of white wine grapes: its wine is fat, deeply colored, easy to enjoy, and high in alcohol so it might get in you Falstaffian trouble if you drink too much of it.

Marsanne is likely native to the northern Rhône Valley, but is planted widely across southern France. It is increasing in acreage under vine in the United States, and is revered in Australia, where some of the world's oldest Marsanne vines are still producing grapes.

It has aromatic elements that can include almonds, caramel, honeysuckle, unroasted hazelnuts, and pineapple; flavors include caramel, honey, marzipan, pineapples, plums, saffron. Marsanne is a high-yielding vine, whose grapes possess naturally high grape sugar and relatively low acidity. It is traditionally blended with Roussanne, which has pronounced acidity, to achieve more depth (and to broaden Roussanne...). It is also commonly blended with Viognier and Vermentino (which is known in southern France as Rolle).

Marsanne with Food
Chicken, lobster, pork, smoked trout, pâté, risotto, braised endive, fennel, curry, rich-ish cheese.

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1 Response

  1. Wine Pairings & Commentary at WineThink » Blog Archive » Excellent & versatile wines from the Northern Rhone Said,

    [...] 10% of Crozes-Hermitages made each year is white–most of it from Marsanne. The reds are Syrah (and can contain up to 15% white wine, though this is generally not done), and [...]

    Posted on August 11th, 2009 at 11:46 am

Video Today

You don't need to speak French to know that the iPad can double as a Champagne Sabre.... Happy New Year!

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