Other White Rhône Wines


2010 Dobbes Family Estate Grenache Blanc Crater View Vineyard Rogue Valley, OR 13.7%

Pretty intensely aromatic with a warm iron note, some minty spice, a touch of fruitiness and a low dusty base note. This is more mineral and floral than fruity, and there is a nice distant note of kumquat blended with apricot here. Absolutely silken on entry, this is fairly rich but gossamer light on the palate, delivering wonderful, slightly milky flavors of almond, citrus pith and orange fruit with pear accents. The fruit totally pops on the rather impressive finish. Long and aromatic, really pretty. This is delightful stuff, so light and well balanced with really fresh fruit and a lovely mineral note refreshing the finish. Super. 92pts

2010 Brian Carter Cellars Oriana Columbia Valley, WA 13.2%

46% Viognier, 37% Roussanne, 17% Riesling

Rather focused on the nose with plenty of apple and orange fruit, some tree bark and mineral notes with a lightly orange blossom/lilac floral edge to it. In the mouth this is fairly tense and firm with a lovely bed of minerality under layers of delicate, succulent apple, peach and citron fruit. Very lively with a nice sappy feel that picks up some peach as it transitions through to the moderately long finish, showing a really lovely interplay between mineral and very fresh fruit. I’m really digging this. Finishes with a zesty spiciness. Very lively stuff. 91pts

2010 McPherson Roussanne Texas 13.6%

This is very attractive on the nose with good intensity and lovely complexity that brings together rich lime, Fiji apple fruit, floral top notes and a touch of blond tobacco. It’s decidedly fruity and a little sweet smelling yet remains appealing. On entry this shows a faint sweetness which is quickly washed away. Big acids cover the palate with rather deep cut apple and lightly candied grapefruit flavors. Zesty and even hinting at spicy, this is a bit short but certainly packs a punch on the palate. 88pts

2010 Halter Ranch Cotes de Paso Blanc Paso Robles, CA 14.2%

33% Grenache Blanc, 26% Roussanne, 20% Picpoul Blanc, 12% Marsanne, 9% Viognier

This is very fruity on the nose with a sweet character. Lots of sweet pear, peach and slightly tropical fruit notes with a floral accent. Very smooth on entry if a bit loose, this delivers a nice, gentle mouth feel along with lightly sweet pear and peach flavors, with an intensely floral inner mouth perfume. Nice minerality flairs on the finish, which is fairly long and slightly bitter on the finale. Just needs a bit more acid verve to be a bit more refreshing. 88pts

2010 The Wolftrap White Western Cape, South Africa 14.5%

Viognier 67%, Chenin Blanc 19%, Grenache Blanc 14%

Smoky, a bit flinty and subtly vegetal on the nose with subdued bitter apple and pithy fruits topped by a touch of white pepper. A bit loose on the palate but nicely transparent with slightly creamy, almond flavors up front that are supported by bright mineral notes. The fruit remains subdued on the palate, if nicely balanced. This is an easy sipper which does gain depth with air and shows a some nice detail, but it is a small scaled wine with a modest finish today, ending with some apple seed notes. 87pts

2009 Shannon Ridge Roussanne Morine Ranch High Valley Lake Co., CA  15.1%

Not much going on on the nose, though with air some very pithy lime notes emerge along with note of pumice stone, almond milk and hints of sage. Nicely balanced on the palate, this is rich and round but has both decent acidity and fine minerality to help add detail to the palate. The fruit is subdued and transparent which helps highlight the integrated mineral notes here. A fine pear skin note emerges on the back end along with a gently sweet fruitiness that recalls some melon. The melon flavor appears on the moderately long if subtle finish as well, along with a bit of heat on the finale. A wine you have to think about to fully enjoy. 86pts

2008 Valley View Anna Maria Roussanne Applegate Valley, OR 12.8%

This smells very nutty with a nice mineral overlay and some gentle apple fruit that shows a hint of celery. Light bodied in the mouth, this is attractive for its purity but is certainly a subtle example of Roussanne. With time this does put on some weight, particularly on the back end where it shows hints of an almost tropically toned apricot fruit. This finishes on the short side with a light wash of orange fruit. 85pts

2010 Atrea the Choir Mendocino Co, CA 14.2%

70% Roussanne, 30% Viognier

This shows off some pineapple and coconut sun tan lotion notes early on the nose over notes of orange and pine nuts. Rather ripe and round on entry, this lacks just a touch of acid but does remain fairly bright. Lots of pear, dried lime and candied orange flavors come out on the palate along with a floral top note, but the fruits seem a bit meaty and roasted, leading to a lean, short finish that shows a touch of alcohol. 85pts

2010 Bergevin Lane Calico White Columbia Valley, WA 13.9%

Unspecified percentages of Viognier, Chardonnay, Roussanne and Marsanne.

This smells quite ripe and a bit heavy with a lot of mango fruit and a bit of underlying peachiness. A touch of RS greets the mouth, which is generally rich and fairly weighty. Features very ripe pear fruit with flashes of almond, mango and a little almond husk which pops on the modest finish. Not bad but this does have a general sense of heaviness about it until the snap of the finish kicks in. 84pts

2008 d’Arenberg The Money Spider Roussanne Mclaren Vale, AUS 13.5%

This is intense on the nose with notes of mango fruit, lanolin, flinty notes, white pepper and a bit of diesel, along with some very ripe/overripe apricot fruit. This is just as intense in the mouth and very ripe with mango and apricot fruit dripping all over the palate. This is a bit soft and certainly mouth-filling, but the flavors of overripe fruit are going to be the undoing of this wine. Perhaps it is just in a tough period today, but it’s not appealing to my palate. 78pts

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