Brett happens

All wine, most of the time

MWG July 17th tasting: Marsanne shoot-out

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Saint-Joseph 2011, Les Granilites, M. Chapoutier ($39.25, 11873018)
100% Marsanne from organically framed vines. Manually harvested. The whole clusters are pressed, with the must going directly into vats, where it is chilled and clarified by settling for 48 hours. It is then racked into 600-litre fûts and fermented with indigenous yeasts. Matured ten months in fûts with stirring of the lees for the first two months. 13.5% ABV. Quebec agent: Vins Philippe Dandurand.
Complex nose: honey, white spices, wax, pear, lychee, minerals and a whiff of cheese. On the palate, it’s rich, dry and mouth-filling, weighty but balanced , possessed of a satiny texture. There’s a suggestion of spiced pear and peach though, as with its flightmate, the fruit flavours are elusive. Long and complete. If the wine has a downside, it’s that it’s not particularly refreshing. That said, it might prove the perfect accompaniment to a dish like scallops or langoustines in curry cream. (Buy again? If in the market for a 100% Marsanne, sure.)

Northern White 2011, Washington State, Rôtie Cellars ($33.00, 12115462)
100% Marsanne. Slow, cool (13°C) alcoholic fermentation with indigenous yeasts. Malolactic fermentation is not completed. Sees only stainless steel until bottling. 13.9% ABV. Quebec agent: Insolite.
Inscrutable nose of minerals and ash. Middleweight and balanced but lean and not exactly characterful, the firm acidity notwithstanding. Flavours? Saline with hints of pear and white peach and a faint oxidized honey note. “A lot of surface but doesn’t stick around very long,” noted one taster. The tail-end – tellingly about a quarter of the bottle was left at the end of the tasting – had lost all personality the next day. (Buy again? Probably not.)

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Written by carswell

August 1, 2014 at 18:04

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