2015 Rutherglen Estates Renaissance VRM
Chief winemaker Marc Scalzo This refined blend highlights the richness of viognier, tropical and cashew notes of roussanne with the crisp acidity of marsanne. It has a creamy texture with citrus and honey notes on the finish, and will enhance any meal. How did you approach the production
of this wine? Harvested in small batches at various levels of ripeness, this wine was individually fermented using indigenous yeast in premium French oak. The blended proportions produce a complete, balanced and harmonious wine, with the characters of each variety evident and complementary.
Can you liken this wine to another style?
It displays the stone fruit characters, citrus and complexity of chardonnay. $32, rutherglenestates.com.au @rutherglenestates
2016 Turners Crossing Viognier
Vigneron Paul Jenkins Clear pale yellow in colour, the aroma has apricots, orange blossom and light spicy notes. The palate is rich, round, textured and medium-weighted with intense s, pear, underlying citrus and a crisp acid finish. What are some of the key descriptors typical of viognier? It has aromas of apricot and orange blossom, with a complementary palate that finishes long with refreshing acidity. Do you find any similarities between viognier and other white wines? This particular viogner is somewhat between a chardonnay and a riesling in terms of style.
2017 Tahbilk Marsanne
Winemaker Alister Purbrick Aromas of lemon/lime, pear and guava fruits sit alongside hints of apple blossom and jasmine. A juicy and taut wine with savoury and mineral touches, careful cellaring will release distinctive marmalade, toast and honeyed notes.
Why is marsanne so special to Tahbilk? It’s one of the world’s rarest grape varieties with origins in the Northern Rhone and Hermitage regions of France. Tahbilk has some of the oldest vines and largest single holding of marsanne in the world. How would you describe marsanne for those new to the variety? Marsanne is an interesting alternative to sauvignon blanc, with crispness and zest when young, but complexity and honeysuckle tones with age. It can continue to cellar for 30-plus years. $19.50, tahbilk.com.au @tahbilkwinery
Marsanne, roussanne and viognier may hail from France’s Rhone region, but here are six fine examples that are also truly Australian.
2016 Yalumba The Virgilius Viognier
Winemaker Louisa Rose This wine has intense aromas of apricot, cardamom, white pepper and fresh ginger. Lifted ginger spice is layered on the palate with a mineral sourdoughlike texture and a complex apricot and almond savouriness.
What can people expect from this wine? Power with restraint; this wine will take the imbiber on a journey as it evolves over a meal, or in the cellar. It is an enchanting wine for those seeking something beyond the more conventional offerings.
What makes this wine so unique?
In many ways The Virgilius behaves like a red wine and, as such, crosses the boundary between traditional white and red wine experiences and food matches. $48, yalumba.com, @yalumbawine
2015 Ben Haines Volta Brackets
Winemaker Ben Haines A lush core of citrus and apple wrapped in a creamy brioche centre, with lemon blossom, frangipani and dollops of honeycomb. Dustings of complex spice and biscotti bring a savoury twist. Textured, mineral and moreish.
What do you love about marsanne? Its tart yet creamy fruit, and its savoury, mysterious side; complex spices, flowers and nuts that unlock through maturation. The acid has a mouthwatering flintiness that, when combined with carefully judged phenolics and lees ageing, brings freshness and longevity. How does this style compare to other whites? My style of marsanne shares similarities with the intense, complex, creamy flavours of chardonnay and the minerality and richness of chenin blanc.
$35, benhaineswine.com, @benhaineswine
2016 Warramunda Estate Marsanne
Winemaker Robert Magdziarz A crisp, fresh and complex wine, the 2016 Marsanne is a real treat for anyone who loves to discover new flavours.
What are some great food matches for it? It partners beautifully with aromatic pork and chicken dishes, Asian herbs and spices, and seafood. The lively acidity gives the wine length and persistence on the palate, complemented by flavours of honeycomb, brioche, savoury spice and hazelnut rounding out the middle.
How did you approach the winemaking?
Fermented with indigenous yeast and matured in barrel for six months, it has a lovely weight, texture and intriguing flavours. It will cellar for many years, transforming into a richer, softer wine with a full body and character. $35, warramundaestate.com.au @warramundawine