Normally blended with its cellar companion Marsanne to produce the Rhone Valley's famous Hermitage wines, Roussanne on occasions is allowed to reign supreme in varietal wines particularly here in Australia. Amongst a vast number of varietals and eclectic blends on its portfolio, d'Arenberg has championed the Rhone Valley white varieties since the mid-nineties. The Hermit Crab Viognier Marsanne is a perennial favourite but the Roussanne is one of those quirky varietals that hits on both the pleasure senses and the cerebral front. If you want to experience what qualities the grape brings to the table, then Chester Osborn's example is the one to try first.
The Money Spider is a complex and intriguing dry wine that will reward patience and perseverance. It pours a brilliant yellow gold colour and the subtle aromatics need a swirl or three to entice the honeysuckle, peach, honey and citrus blossom nuances to lift from the wine. I love the aromatics and further breathing reveals hints of cinnamon spice and vanilla bean. Wow. Worth the price of admission. But wine drinkers and cognoscenti alike do not live on the sniff alone !
The palate has this unctuous mouthfeel to it that reflects the exotic aromatics. Bolstered further by savoury pistachio nut, lime and nectarine flavours with an omnipresent honey nuance throughout, it never feels oily, rather balanced, fresh and lengthy. Texturally complex. Underrated in blends, Roussanne can be a diva on its own and in my opinion, this one is a standing ovation. Take a bow. Overall, a varietal that for me is now far more opulent than its stablemates Marsanne and Viognier which pallor in comparison.
Source: Retail Purchase. Alcohol: 13.2%. Closure: Screwcap. Rating: 93 Points.