Archive for ‘Roussanne’

June 30, 2016

La Frenz Vivant, 2013 & La Frenz Ensemble, 2013

La Frenz Vivant

La Frenz Vivant, 2013

So close.  I mean look at the label, what a gorgeous blend, it’s whet-your-wine appetite enticing.  Viognier, a touch of sweetness, Chardonnay, a touch of class, Rousanne, a touch of herbal tea.  It makes you want to buy three bottles, one of each viaretal, take an eye dropper, and experiment in blends.  I had such high expectations.  But, while not a dud, it reaches for the stars and only gets two points from within the three point line.  All the way through we kept thinking about how the flavour tried, but couldn’t.  It touched on moments of interest but never got there.  It was like a roller coaster rolling backwards rather than cresting the hill.  If there was Rousanne, the Rousanne you associate with the Rhone, we were too inept to decipher it.  We did not get the potpourri or spice or complexity we expected; peaches and papaya, yes, although nothing to write much of a review about.


Price: $25 from the vineyard.


Market Liquidity: Lewis Hamilton on the label, but the wine inside 12th on the grid.

La Frenz Ensemble

La Frenz Ensemble, 2013

A big surprise.  We put the bottle on the table and the next thing you know it was empty.  And we only had the one!  Extremely food friendly, enough acid and citrus Sauvignon style to wash down Asian or fish and chips.  Enough Semillon to have more interest in plain old SB.  Not as austere, striking or noteworthy as some of the noble Hunter Valley Sem/Sauv blends, but really lovely, approachable, and, as I said, easy to drink.  The citrus floral aspects counter a lingering creamy finish which leads to just one more sip. A keeper, by which I mean I should have cellared it.


Price: $25 from the vineyard.


Market Liquidity: Nico Rosberg quietly slips into first place.

mercedes crash

April 22, 2015

Domaine de L’Idylle Divine, Roussanne, 2013

Domaine de L'Idylle Divine, Roussanne, 2013

Light, refreshing, brightly acidic, tart to the point of palate cleansing. A tad hard to place. There is no hovering bouquet, but what there is—gooseberies, kumquat, damp earth—is pleasant, pleasurable and very food friendly; go cheese and go big.  Go fondue.  If you’ve ever had a wine from Switzerland—a good wine from Switzerland—and you liked it, then you’ll like this.  There is something both perfect and imperfect in the same mouthful; think Jean Arp.


We have been collectively “trained” to dislike wine like this. Which, while true, sad and weirdly anti-wine, means this probably won’t win any favour with your vino clique. My metaphor is Bill Cunningham’s photos; it takes all sorts and without all sorts we’d all be the same.


Price: $17 USD


Market Liquidity: Striking, if not striking a balance.

October 16, 2014

Qupé Roussanne, 2010

From the cellar: For Thanksgiving I thought an interesting white was in order. Braised pork shoulder in leeks, carrots, onions, dried apricots. This would have been Riesling’s time to shine but my cellar is not so well-stocked. We had a gifted prestigious Rhone varietal from the always interesting Qupé.


A lot to ponder: Pronounced minerality and citrus (grapefruit, lemon, pith), Chinese gooseberries, layered in a not completely harmonious balance, then followed by a woody, herbaceous finish. A ludicrously long finish, soft and elegant with none of the pungency on the attack. Finally, on the palate, an uneven lingering intensity, like the air in damp woods. Probably a major accomplishment for a major-general varietal, but there was something strident and cryptic in this wine that, ultimately, left us wanting. The pork however, ooh-la-la.


Price: Gifted but online $40 at the vineyard.


Market Liquidity: Karl Popper was brilliant but impenetrable in print.