Rarely grown in Australia, we follow traditional winemaking to produce a Roussanne that is vibrant with modest viscosity and capacity for ageing.
In 2003 we grafted Roussanne over Cabernet Sauvignon roots and began the journey with this obscure variety (which is equally as rare in its original home of the southern Rhône), known for its savoury flavours, textural palate and rewards in the cellar. Our Roussanne is planted in soils of weathered sands mixed with ironstone gravels. We find it very important to shoot and bunch thin in February just before the berries begin accumulating sugar, and follow up with some leaf plucking, as the extra sunlight allows for the tannins to be tamed and ripeness to occur at lower sugar levels resulting in a more balanced and restrained style.
REGION: Kangarilla, McLaren Vale
VINE AGE: 12 years
ELEVATION: 150m above sea level
SOIL TYPE: Weathered sands mixed with ironstone gravels
VITICULTURALIST: Michael Lane
The grapes were hand-picked and carefully basket pressed, with only 60% of the extractable juice used to eliminate any potential broadness. No sulphur was added,
and the juice was transferred to barrel without any settling or fining, where it underwent wild yeast fermentation. The wine was matured for 7 months, the lees retained and stirred monthly, and received no fining, just filtration.
BARREL AGING: 7 months, older french barrels
TA: 5.77 g/L
PRODUCTION: 1200 cases
WINEMAKER: Peter Fraser
94 Points Halliday Wine Companion: It all sees oak, though only 10% of it is new. This just has that something extra; it carries along in competent style but the sparks really fly on the finish. It’s slippery and textural, though not oily, fresh with fruit, and then wild with dry spice, roasted nuts, fennel, fruit and mineral to close. You want more? It gives it to you. Drink to 2021
92 Points Nick Stock - jamessuckling.com Top 100 Aus Wines: Poached quince and pears with spicy and lightly honeyed aromas. The palate has a smoothly formed, fleshy texture. The honeyed, lees-derived influence sits well in this complex and textural white. Drink now
95 points Halliday Wine Companion: "Whole berries, basket-pressed to French oak, 5% new, wild ferment and 7 months on lees. While there's a whisper of nashi pears, daikon, camomile, fennel and white pepper, this runs on a savoury track with fine acidity keeping it from ever becoming too big. Lovely drink. Drink by 2022." (Halliday Wine Companion 2018)
95 points Anthony Keys: 'Twisting the glass in different directions, one can see hints of green or yellow. It’s rich on the nose, as in a faint scent of a rose. There is also a hint of damp, fresh earth. In the mouth it oozes across the palate (if the taster takes time) with a slight herbal edge to the richer apricot central spine. The wine rolls to the centre, where all flavours combine and finish the journey building in intensity, with great satisfaction for the drinker.' (The Keys Report, February 2017)
95 points Angus Hughson: 'Bright lights gold and quite a pretty, semi-aromatic style showing acacia, lemon rind and tropical fruits. Dry, full bodied and textural in the mouth, it is very savoury and powerful with balancing acid that drives a long and robust finish with some attractive phenolic grip. A lovely complex, wine with the balance to improve in bottle.' (winegenius.com, May 2017)
92 points James Suckling: 'Custard apple, apple pie and lemon notes too. There's a fluid palate texture with honey and lemon flavor. Neatly balanced. Drink now. Screw cap.' (jamessuckling.com, July 2017)
90 points Lisa Perrotti-Brown: "The 2016 Roussanne opens with fragrant white peach, orange blossom and allspice notes with touches of baking bread and honeycomb. The light to medium-bodied palate is elegantly played, with a quiet intensity of savory and spice box flavors complementing the stone fruit, finishing long and lively." (The Wine Advocate, South Australia Report, August 2017)
90 points Huon Hooke: 'Medium yellow colour with a slight brassy tint. The aromas are steely, stony-mineral and spicy with ripe fruit nuances. The palate is open-knit, soft, round, slightly oily and seems to have moderate acidity. Seemingly, a trace of barrel fermentation adding an extra dimension. Good intensity, flavour and balance.' (The Real Review, June 2017)
90 points Toni Patterson: 'Rich and expressive with hints of almond, sour-sob, scented flowers and butter. The palate is beautifully sweet-fruited, with generous white peach and lemon zest. The wine has appealing texture and soft edges.' (The Real Review, February 2017)
93+ points Gary Walsh: "Fresh perfumed, fennel seed, white flower and vanilla perfume, ripe lemon. Rich and almost creamy, maybe a little under-powered, but full of character. Airy kind of feel to it, and a good finish. Tasty. In evolution, but fine now too. 2017-2024" (The Wine Front, June 2016)
94-95 points Gary Walsh: "Lemon barley, pie apple, honey and white flowers, touch of cedar and spice. Smooth, mellifluous tone, savoury and earthy with poached chicken and lemon zest. Super length. Beautiful complex wine. 2016-2022" (The Wine Front, June 2016)
94 Points James Halliday (The Australian Wine Companion, 2016).
93-94 points Gary Walsh: "Preserved lemon, spice, fennel and honey. Bright and crunchy, with flesh and savoury flavours, cool acidity and chalky texture, long finish. Super release. 2016-2022" (The Wine Front, June 2016)
93 points Gary Walsh: "Lemon curd, slight spice, light buttery tones, melon and juicy citrus acidity, good crunch on the finish and pleasing sense of harmony. Think this is just about in the zone. 2016-2020" (The Wine Front, June 2016)
93 points Gary Walsh: "Slightly earthy, spice, delicate fruit, savoury style, bottle aged with crisp acidity and crunchy length. Lighter iteration, but thoroughly charming and interesting. 2016-2021" (The Wine Front, June 2016)
89 points Gary Walsh: "Honey and ripe line, briny, nectarine. Lightly toasty and honeyed, juicy lemon and fine acid cut, nice texture of gentle chalkiness, finishes with buttered lime marmalade on toast. Slight old butter character in the aftertaste. 2016-2018" (The Wine Front, June 2016)
90 points Gary Walsh: "Funky estuarine smells, spice, low flavour, all tang and lemon with a slightly warm and loose finish. Like the spice and funk, and it looks pretty young, but doesn’t have a great deal of flavour or length. 2016-2020" (The Wine Front, June 2016)
93-94 points Gary Walsh: "Dazzling golden colour. Spicy, waxy, nutty flavour with silky glossy texture cut by lemon zest acidity, honeycomb and cling peach, finishes bright and zingy. 2016-2020" (The Wine Front, Gary Walsh)