89 Points | International Wine Cellar , January 2012
(55% viognier, 20% roussanne, 10% each of clairette and marsanne, and 5% bourboulenc, all raised in stainless steel): Light yellow. Fresh, aromatic scents of peach, yellow plum and lemon curd, lifted by a spicy overtone. Dry and precise, with sappy pit and citrus fruit flavors that put on weight with air. Closes with good energy and clarity, leaving spice and lemon notes behind. This is quite suave for the category and would be a great pairing for lighter seafood dishes.
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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