Posted on 05.06.20 Wine of the Week

#WOTW: Seductive, plush Roussanne, done the Ozzie way

This week’s choice is another great example of a distinguished grape, from a celebrated region, taking on its own character on the other side of the world. Just as the Viognier I featured previously hails from the Rhône, so does Roussanne, although that’s really where the similarity ends.

Named after the ‘roux’ colour of its skin, translating from the French for ‘ginger’, Roussanne is apparently quite tricky to grow, prone to mildew and rot, but its enticing, enchanting aromas are clearly enough to tempt a determined few. To make it the biodynamic way (no chemicals, natural treatments, adhering to a specific calendar, in short… lots of work) takes real resolve.

Yangarra Estate Roussanne 2018  (£17.60 from Hedonism Wines in Mayfair, or online at Kwoff) from Australia’s McLaren Vale, offers a golden glow in the glass. Those seductive, slightly smoky aromas include ripe peach, Asian pear and a hint of stem ginger. The wine has enjoyed some contact with the skins (not typical for white wines), in a concrete egg, both of which add real interest and texture. The result is a wine that unfolds like a map, with a delicious, subtly tannic, slightly savoury character. For me though, it’s all about that plush texture.

This wine is absolutely delicious and it is drinking very nicely now, but the quality of its fruit suggests it could develop further, so I would stash some away in the cellar for a few years.

It’s a fine food wine: the obvious comfort-food-fit would be roast chicken and all the trimmings and it could also complement a spicy, nutty dish, like a Massaman curry, but I served it with a homemade shortcrust, wild garlic, onion and aged Comté tart, those powerful flavours working really well with the complexity and rich texture of the wine.

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