While I very much want to like wines from Roussanne, I tend to avoid them: dense, cloying, unctuous, tiring are all words that come to mind. The grape’s aromas are pleasing, but the palate halts those pleasures. Yet, recently, I tasted this delicious bottling from a young producer on the right bank of the Rhône and was delightfully drawn-in with each sip. Jean-Baptiste attributes the wine’s grace to three factors related to the grapes: 1. vines planted on granite, 2. vines grown at over 1000 feet in elevation and 3. picking at the right time. The third point is key: Roussanne turns russet in color–likely lending itself to the origin of the grape’s name–when the grape ripens. Jean-Baptiste picks his grapes right when they turn russet and not a day later, preserving acidity and keeping alcohol in check. Absolutely beautiful with aromas of honeysuckle and stone fruit, with weight yet refreshingly snappy on the palate. The perfect winter white.
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