($17; 55% viognier, 15% marsanne, 13% roussanne and the rest clairette, bourboulenc and grenache blanc) Pale yellow. Melon, nectarine and honeysuckle on the nose, with notes of anise and white pepper adding complexity. Gains sweetness with air and offers pliant honeydew and orchard fruit flavors, with a touch of spice on the back half. I like this wine's complexity and finishing sappiness.
The entire Rhone Valley is frequently referred to as the Cotes du Rhone, but this is also the name of the generic appellation that covers more than 100 communes in the region north of Avignon. The primary varieties cultivated here are Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre, Cinsault and Carignan. Wines simply labeled Cotes du Rhone may rank at the bottom of the hierarchy...
Marsanne, the most widely planted white grape of the northern Rhone Valley, has a long history-- not in single varietal bottlings, but rather as a blending grape. In Hermitage, Marsanne is blended with Roussane to produce the white wine of the appellation; in our opinion, white Hermitage is one of the most overlooked great wines of the world. Incidentally, along with Roussane, up to... Read More »
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