2016 Roux Beauté Roussanne

Roux Beauté began as a winemaking trial in 2013, with the intention of growing and making an extraordinary Roussanne. The grapes fermented and matured 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. It will age wonderfully given time in the cellar. The name “Beauté” captures our intention to beautifully express the Roussanne varietal and its site. Roux, the French word for ‘russet’, is the likely part origin of the name Roussanne, and refers to the reddish tinge that forms on the skin of the yellow-green fruit.

Detail

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 137 days before pressing. Certified organic/biodynamic.

Vineyard and Winemaking

VINEYARD INFORMATION

We have a total of 3.5 hectares of Roussanne planted on our single vineyard estate. Roux Beauté is specifically hand-picked from Block 6 (1.0 Ha), our oldest Roussanne planting, which is 13 years old. These vines grow in soils of weathered sands and ironstone gravels.

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: 13 years

ELEVATION: 150m above sea level

SOIL TYPE: Weathered sands mixed with ironstone gravels

WINEMAKING INFORMATION

This Roussanne was hand-picked and mechanically sorted. 50% of the parcel was destemmed and crushed then fermented on skins 675L ceramic eggs. It remained on skins for 137 days before pressing. The remaining 50% was pressed into another two 675L ceramic eggs and went through fermentation without skin contact. The final blend of this vintage of Roux Beauté was comprised of 60% extended skin contact batch, and 40% without skin contact. Not fined. Certified organic/biodynamic.

ALCOHOL: 13.5%

TA: 6.2 g/L

pH: 3.45

YIELD: 41hL/Ha

PRODUCTION: 3,060 bottles

Vintage Report

The 2016 growing season was marked by a dry spring and was headed for a very early and compressed season. We had some mild summer rains which slowed the sugar ripening of the vines down, and helped give brightness and fleshiness to vintage.

The grapes were hand-picked on the 3rd of March (leaf/fruit day), and yielded 41 hectoliters 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.

 

Reviews

2016 VINTAGE

94 points Halliday Wine Companion 2019: Estate-grown 13yo vines, 50% foot-stomped and fermented in a 675l ceramic egg, remaining on skins for 160 days before pressing, 50% also fermented in a ceramic egg without skins, the final blend resulting in 60% extended skin contact, 40% without skins. It's incredible that so little evidence of wild, way out winemaking has produced a bright straw-green wine, that truly tastes of roussanne, a non-aromatic variety. The only sign is a touch of heat or ginger (I don't know which) that flickers every now and then. Drink by 2026

94 points Campbell Mattinson - The Wine Front: Grown biodynamically. 50% fermented on skins in two ceramic eggs, 50% fermented in ceramic eggs but not on skins. Final blend is 60% of the extended skin contact egg portion. Bottled unfined. 250-ish dozen made. Beautiful white wine. It crackles, it floats and it charms. Spice, florals, stone fruit and mineral. There’s grip to the finish but it doesn’t gather; it’s exquisitely well pitched and balanced. A class. Heady with florals but taut and controlled. Drink 2018 - 2022

94 points Nick Stock - jamessuckling.com Top 100 Aus Wines: Beautiful power and refinement here. This has a stony edge to the nose with flavors of pears and pear skin. Months on skins have added mellow and nutty grip to the palate. This will be fascinating as an aged wine. Drink or hold.

2015 VINTAGE

96 points Halliday Wine Companion: "Using two ceramic egg vessels, half the fruit is fermented on skins for 160 days in one, the other half with juice only. The final outcome a 60/40% blend respectively. What a wine. Complex yet refined, notes of preserved ginger, herbal tea, honey comb and clotted cream with neat phenolics and gossamer-like acidity. Drink by 2032." (Halliday Wine Companion 2018)

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)

92 points Lisa Perrotti-Brown: "The 2015 Roux Beaute Roussanne has an alluring baked apricot, honeysuckle, brioche and marzipan-scented nose with hints of struck match, wet pebbles and yeast extract. The medium-bodied palate delivers the structure, texture and depth of a great Chardonnay with all the character of a very smart Roussanne. There's plenty of savory intensity supported by a satiny texture and an invigorating backbone of freshness, finishing long and toasty." (The Wine Advocate, South Australia Report, August 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)

2014 VINTAGE

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).

2013 VINTAGE

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).

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