‘Roux’, the French word for ‘russet’, and refers to the reddish tinge that forms on the yellow-green skins of the berries. ‘Beauté’ refers to our aspirations of this wine, and a word play of the Australian slang ‘you beauty’, to mean an exclamation of joy or enthusiasm. The name captures our intention to beautifully express the Roussanne varietal and its site.
The Roux Beauté wine began as a winemaking trial in 2013 where we fermented and matured Roussanne on their skins in big 675L ceramic eggs. The resulting wine is luxuriously textured, and showcases the varietal flavours of Roussanne and the distinctive characters of the site.
WINE COMPOSITION: 100% ROUSSANNE
REGION: Estate-grown in Kangarilla, McLaren Vale
WINEMAKING: Wild yeast, fermented and aged in ceramic eggs, with 60% of the blend fermenting on skins for 160 days before pressing. Certified Biodynamic.
Vineyard and Winemaking
The Roussanne was sourced solely from Block 6A (1.0 Ha) overlying weathered sands and ironstone gravels, the oldest planting of Roussanne which is now 12 years old. The vines are pruned to approximately 24 buds per vine on a single cordon, shoot thinned to the same number in early spring, and trellis the canopy to a vertical position. When bunch closure is complete, we remove all the east facing leaves surrounding the bunches to ensure full exposure to the morning sun.
The vineyard is certified Biodynamic (certification # 11587) with Australian Certified Organic. We have quite a practical approach, with our philosophy focused around healthy and alive soil, which involves no use of synthetic herbicides or fungicides, use of compost and biodynamic preparations, use of sheep in winter to graze under vine, and minimal mechanical soil disruption.
REGION: Kangarilla, McLaren Vale
VINE AGE: 14 years
ELEVATION: 150m above sea level
SOIL TYPE: Weathered sands mixed with ironstone gravels
VITICULTURALIST: Michael Lane
We have used two 675 L ceramic eggs.
Egg 1 - The hand-picked fruit was 100% destemmed and mechanically berry-sorted, and crushed (no whole berries). These have been tipped in the egg by bucket for fermentation, and remained on skins for 160 days. The wine has been decanted from the sunken skins, and no pressings used.
Egg 2 - Whole bunches have been pressed using a basket press, fermented off skins.
The final blend was 60% extended skin contact batch with 40% without skins batch, and matured in the eggs until late September. No fining. Bottled October. Certified Biodynamic.
AGING: Ceramic eggs, 6 months.
TA: 5.6 g/L
PRODUCTION: 1272 bottles
WINEMAKER: Peter Fraser & Shelley Torresan
During the 2015 growing season, we experienced steady warm days (with only one extreme heat day) resulting in rapid sugar accumulation leading to a relatively early and compressed harvest.
The grapes were hand-picked on the 21st February (flower day), and meagerly yielded 32 hectolitres per hectare. As much as we pick on sugar/acid balance, and importantly physiological characters, we also consider the biodynamic calendar where possible, with fruit days and flower days being the most desirable, and a root day avoided.
95 points Campbell Mattinson: "Grown biodynamically. Fermented in two ceramic eggs: one left on skins for a whopping 160 days, one fermented as juice only. Final blend is 60% of the extended skin contact egg portion. Bottled unfined. I suspect that the ‘part extended skin contact/part fermented as juice’ approach is the secret here.
It’s a killer wine. Body, soul, aroma, flavour and length. Honeysuckle and stone fruits, more spice than your average temple, custard apples, tea, kiwi fruit, anise and more. It has power, texture and persistence but, almost regardless, its personality is captivating, and makes you want to delve ever deeper. It is a truly brilliant white wine." (The Wine Front, June 2017)
94 points James Suckling: 'A much more complex wine here. This has a different palate structure too with a more sleek, polished and elegant texture. Superb freshness and gently layered, pastry-like texture. A long, satisfying finish. Drink now. Screw cap.' (jamessuckling.com, July 2017)
90 points Huon Hooke: "Deep yellow, bright colour; the bouquet is restrained but spicy with traces of apricot and faint traces of spice. The palate is likewise, fairly full-bodied, broad, a tad clumsy, with obvious tannins which add a certain texture, happily without attendant bitterness. The aftertaste resonates on and on. It's quite a big wine. It needs food: I'd suggest roast chicken. (Fermented in two 675-litre ceramic eggs. 60% of blend had 160-day extended skin contact; 40% was whole-bunch pressed)." (The Real Review, June 2017)
94 points Gary Walsh: " Two concrete eggs, with one left on skins for 100 and something days. Final blend is 60% of the extended skin contact egg. I'd love to have tasted a 100% verson, though that's just me.
Honey and almonds, something like chicken stock, subtle apricot perfume. Juicy and almost peachy, with citrus and almonds, suede-like tannin, spot on acidity and a savoury, yet honey nut cornflake infused finish. Yum. Feels a little bolder than last year, but tastes just as good". (The Wine Front, March 2016).
96 points James Halliday: "Destemmed and mechanically berry sorted, 50% crushed, tipped into two 675l ceramic eggs. Fermentation occurs in the eggs; remains on skins for 120 days post-fermentation, the pressings not used. The colour is clear and bright; a perfumed bouquet, then a palate brimming with bright red fruits supported by a spider web of ultra-fine tannins. It is the perfume that is so extraordinary. 94 dozen made. Screwcap. 14.5% alc. Rating 96 To 2023". (The 2016 Australian Wine Companion).