I would advise anyone who wants to delve deeply into the origins of grapes to look at ‘Wine Grapes’ by Jancis Robinson et al., the most authoritative tome on the subject. It did help my spinning head a little, but not much, as the Traminer/Savagnin family is more complex than the Ewings of Dallas. Roter Traminer is the same wine as Savagnin Rouge, related to the Gelber Traminer (Savagnin Blanc/Heida) and to Gewürztraminer.
Roter Traminer is the predominant Traminer variety in Austria. It has low acidity and literally does smell (and taste) of roses along with dried fruit, marshmallows and citrus notes. In colour it ranges from intensely green to intensely yellow or even a glisten of red. When produced from ripe grapes, it produces wines with pronounced aromas that age well.
Whilst being well known in France in the creation of Hermitage AOC, Marsanne is also grown in Valais, Switzerland, where it is known as Ermitage or Ermitage Blanc. It is also found in Savoie where they call it Grosse Roussette.
It is a versatile grape and is made into steely dry and sweet wines (Ermitage Fletri from Valais) with quite a deep colour. Although often blended due to its low acidity this is a plus for the Swiss who are not too keen on much acidity in their wines and they produce an excellent range of single variety wines from this grape. The wines, whether dry or sweet, can be drunk young, but will benefit greatly from being given time to age and reach their full potential.
Marsanne produces deeply coloured wines that are rich and nutty, with hints of spice and pear, aromas of melon and honeysuckle. As Marsanne ages the wine takes on a darker colour and the flavours can become more complex and concentrated with a waxy, honeyed texture. Aromas of nuts and quince can also develop.
It seems likely that Marsanne is named after the village near Montélimar where it is likely to have originated. DNA analysis shows a parent-offspring relationship between Marsanne and Roussanne. Marsanne is one of the eight grape varieties allowed in Côtes du Rhône.
It was the first time I have ordered from Alpine Wines and I just wanted to say that I found the unexpected follow-up call a very nice touch. I am also pleased to report that it was the winning wine for our Austrian evening at our very informal wine club!
Thank you for following up. I have been very happy with the wines so far. There were some I did not like, but this was a matter of taste, rather than wine quality. I never knew much about Austrian wines before and I ordered some just to try them, but have been really impressed and have some new favourites like Zweigelt and Weissburgunder. I had Pinot Bianco before, but have never found it notable, while the Weissburgunder was amazing. I liked the Austrian Riesling, even though it was cheaper than relevant German wine and the Julienas Gamay was so nice. Overall I have been very happy quality and value and will order again.
We primarily drink reds so my expectations weren't high, but it was amazing! I bought the wine for it's sentimental value, but now I'm lamenting the fact I didn't buy more when given the opportunity. I want to say Thank You once again for the amazing service. It's something that we don't experience enough of in our current world.
Delivery within 2 days, wines left where requested and one is able to order half a dozen wines at one time. We have always rated Swiss wines very highly and it is good to find a company that supplies such good quality wines.
I initially found Alpine Wines in a search for a good source of eisweins, which they certainly are. However, having bought a number of other wines from them as well, I have been truly delighted by the quality of the wine as well as their advice on the website and over the phone. Pretty much everything I have ordered has been a hit, and I'm rather picky. Excellent service and an excellent selection, most of which you will not find anywhere else. Truly unique. I will keep shopping here for the foreseeable future.