Classic aromas of Marsanne are: Honeycomb, Red Apple, Pear, Almonds, Orange and Yellow Peach
Marsanne is a white grape variety hailing from the Northern Rhone Valley in France. It was first mentioned here in 1781. It is the white grape that predominates the white blends of Saint-Peray, Saint-Joseph, Crozes-Hermitage and Hermitage as well as being one of the few white grapes that are allowed in the Chateauneuf-du-Pape white blend.
France is still the home of the world’s Marsanne plantings with over 500ha planted across France. It is almost exclusively planted in the Rhone Valley and is usually blended with Roussanne, and sometimes Viognier. The most famous bottlings of Marsanne are Chapoutier’s Chante Alouette, Ermitage de l’Oree and le Meal.
It is thanks to the Rhone rangers of California, namely Qupe and Randal Grahm, who brought Marsanne to Santa Barbara in the late 1960-80s. It is also produced, famously, in Australia mainly by Tahbilk in Victoria.
Marsanne produces wines that have moderate acidity, full bodied and are deep in gold colour. They have aromas of honeysuckle, yellow peach, pears, baked apples and almonds. When produced in a cooler climate it will often have more of a citrus profile with aromas of orange peel and ruby grapefruit.