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Roussanne

Roussanne

Drink with Fondue: crisp and clear white wine

In Switzerland we traditionally drink crisp white Chasselas, black tea (no milk), and kirsch with cheese fondue. It needs to be dry and very clean to cut through the cheese.

For variety, we might go for Doral, Heida, or Johannisberg, but much complexity can be lost with all the cheese. I still feel Chasselas is the best as much of its complexity is in the mouthfeel not the nose.

In Savoie they drink Jacquere for the same reason, as well as Altesse.

For people accustomed to more acidity in their white wine, Chasselas can feel "not enough" with Fondue. The Savoie wines will work better for you, or some of the Aosta or Alto Adige wines.

Roussanne is grown in a few European countries as well as Australia, South Africa and the USA. It is probably named from the russet (roux in French) colour of the ripe berries. Due to local naming there can be a lot of confusion about this grape. Roussanne is not Rousette despite being known in some places as Petite Rousette, nor is it Marsanne despite that grape being known as Roussette d’Ayze in Savoie. Nor indeed, is it Altesse despite that being known as Roussanne in various places. Confused? To continue, Rousanne is known by other names including Bergeron which itself is known as Chignin in Savoie and often these wines are called Chignin-Bergeron.

Once your head stops spinning, pick up a glass of this bright golden-yellow liquid and take a long, deep inhale and you will find that Rousanne is an aromatic wine with scents of fresh flowers, peaches, herbs, pears, spice, roasted nuts and hints of pepper. The palate offers flavours of peach, honey and pear and various citrus fruits. It can be highly acidic so beware when choosing the right wine for you.

Roussanne is often used to blend with shorter lived grapes like Marsanne, Viognier or Grenache Blanc. Whilst being an allowed grape in white Châteauneuf-du-Pape and Côtes du Rhône it comes into its own in the Savoie with the aforementioned Chignin-Bergeron. We currently have three on the site, both oaked and unoaked.

Roussanne originates in the northern Rhône in France. It has been identified as a very close relative of Marsanne and the two are often confused with each other.

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