From vines planted around the tunnel winery itself in the stony upper hillside lieu dit Barras, these vines are now coming up on their later teenage years, taking on each year a more mature, adult, and “serious” character. Roussanne as a variety is subtly finer/elegant vis-a-vis Marsanne, with more white floral aromatics, and a bit less fat. The ’17 that I tasted in bottle with Sandrine at their tasting room in town was kind of a knockout, offering precisely this quintessential varietal picture of intense white florals, quite concentrated and silky ripe stone fruit/citrus zest character, with a sense of absolutely crystalline and luminous purity. It finishes with a very good sense of freshness and long lingering, lightly salty mineral savour. Josh’s note from last year sounds like a spitting image of what I tasted last Monday……it seems hard to imagine wanting more than this for an example of both its variety and Saint Péray in general……Stéphane later added that he prefers to drink the Roussanne wines in their first 3-5 years of life, as he finds that they don’t promise the same evolutionary potential/longevity as Marsanne does, its charms mostly coming from exactly this floral and fruit freshness character. Be it as a richer but refreshing aperitif wine, or with all things shellfish, lighter poultry dishes, and salads, I can foresee this proving to be quite the lovable all purpose northern Rhône white. Sandrine adds that with quiches and goat cheese, this is a nice pairing.
“Light bright yellow. Tangerine, honey, anise and pungent flowers on the bright, mineral-tinged nose. Silky and concentrated in the mouth, offering bitter pear skin, orange zest and floral flavors that become spicier and more minerally with air. Finishes with solid grip and strong, minerally persistence, leaving a bitter citrus pith note behind.” 92 Josh Raynolds for the 2016, NOT THE 2017 OFFERED HERE.