Wines made from the Roussanne grape have a distinctive aroma profile and are extremely acidic. It is normally used as a blending grape because of its forceful characteristics. Clonal selection is crucial with Roussanne. Warm weather gives it intense, complex fruit. It needs to fully ripen or it will be too acidic. Pronounced minerality balances intense fruit flavors.
Roussanne needs a long, moderate growing season to reach its peak. It is susceptible to mildew and is not an extremely reliable grape in the vineyard. In the winery, it is prone to oxidation. However, when Roussanne is successfully grown and produced, complex, aromatic wines result.
There are currently approximately 200 acres of Roussanne planted in California. It is also blended with Chardonnay on occasion. Roussanne has floral aromas and ages well. Alban, Bonny Doon and Sobon all make good versions in California’s wine country.
Roussanne is a white grape originally from the Northern Rhone Valley. It is home in the Northern Rhone regions of Hermitage, Crozes-Hermitage and St. Joseph. It also thrives in the Southern Rhone region of Chateauneuf-du-Pape. Roussanne is often barrel fermented and blended with Marsanne in the Rhone Valley.
The Roussanne grape is also planted in the Liguria and Tuscany regions of Italy. It is also grown in Languedoc-Roussillon, Savoie, and Provence.