Roussanne is a traditional variety of the northern Rhône, where it was first mentioned in 1781 in a text about the white wines from the Hermitage region. The name Roussanne probably refers to the russet (roux) color of the mature berries.
Mid ripening. Does well on well-exposed, poor, stony, calcareous-clay soils although it has poor wind resistance. Highly susceptible to powdery mildew, botrytis bunch rot, mites, and thrips.
In France, Roussanne’s most famous and revered renditions are in partnership with Marsanne in the northern Rhône still white wines of Hermitage, Crozes-Hermitage, and Saint-Joseph and in still and sparkling Saint-Péray.
A particularly fine example of varietal Roussanne is produced by Château de Beaucastel in Châteauneuf-du-Pape, who have demonstrated that the fruit of their old vines has great affinity with oak and the capacity to age. Other recommended French producers of varietal wines or Roussanne-dominated blends include Château Pesquier (Ventoux), Domaine Sainte-Rose (Côtes de Thongue), Domaine de la Solitude (Châteauneuf) and Paul Jaboulet Aîné (Rhône).
Source: Wine Grapes
A complete guide to 1,368 vine varieties, including their origins and flavors
Jancis Robinson, Julia Harding, and Jose Vouillamouz
Published by the Penguin Group
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