We love Rhone grape varieties here at WineCollective, so when we were offered a small amount of Yangarra Estate's Roussanne from McLaren Vale, we jumped at the opportunity. While it might seem strange that grapes originally from the south of France have found such a happy home half-a-world away in South Australia, examination of climate data show surprising similarities between the two regions. In fact, McLaren Vale has been described as having “the best Mediterranean climate on Earth.” Early grape-growers recognized this, and planted the region near the Gulf St. Vincent with Grenache, Shiraz, and one of the most prized white grapes of the Rhone: Roussanne. While it's often used as the more prestigious blending partner to Marsanne, Roussanne can also shine on its own, and this bottling is certainly proof! Yangarra has a total of 2.5 hectares planted to the grape across three sites, all of which are certified organic and biodynamic. After being picked by hand, the grapes are gently pressed, and fermentation takes place naturally in predominantly neutral French oak. After 7 months in barrel, with lees stirring to develop texture, the wine is bottled with only light filtration to preserve character. Enjoy lightly chilled at 9-10 C, now or over the next 3-5 years.
In the glass, the Yangarra Estate Roussanne shows a vibrant, light gold with green glints.
Savoury herbs practically leap out of the glass, with fresh rosemary and sage leading the charge, followed by beautiful ripe pear and melon. The judicious use of oak lends a touch of spice and vanilla, and there's a hint of wild clover honey that lingers.
If you're a fan of complex, textural white wines, you will love this Roussanne! It's rich without being heavy, and full-bodied without being flabby. The oak is present but not overwhelming, and persistent acid on the long, fruit-driven finish keeps it refreshing. A delicious alternative to oaked Chardonnay.
Match the richness of the wine with a duck or pork rillette, or pair with a French classic like chicken Normandy.