Roussanne’s origins lie in the Rhône Valley and Mediterranean France. There it’s generally blended with the workhorse grapes Marsanne (northern Rhône) and Grenache Blanc (southern Rhône), and this tradition has been continued in the new world of Australia and California. Prone to wind damage and mildew, Roussanne is difficult to grow and low-yielding but high in distinctive aromatics. It falls to Roussanne to carry most of the aroma, finesse and aging potential of these traditional blends.
The climate of the Barossa closely mirrors that of the southern Rhône, while escaping the damaging force of the Rhône’s Mistral. I’d worked with Roussanne at Vieux Télégraphe in the southern Rhône and later at Rocland Estate in the Barossa. In France Roussanne is generally fermented and matured aside from its blending partners (it typically ripens a few days later), and if picked at the critical moment I found its bouquet stunning and unique, redolent of bee’s wax, quince, and camomile.
Back in Australia I was introduced to David Materne who farms a small block of Roussanne vines in Greenock and we harvested my first crop in 2010. It’s since become a much anticipated Michael Hall release and today we bring you our 11th vintage.
Michael Hall Barossa Valley Roussanne, Greenock 2020 $45.00
1570 bottles produced
“Michael Hall is making brilliant, complex wines, from traditional, Barossa staples through to more distinct, out-of-the-box examples like this. This seriously complex, compelling medium-bodied white is redolent of lemon-honey-ginger-tea, stewed pear with cinnamon, with faint nutty, savoury-yeasty aromas in tow. The palate is similar in flavour, a little rich but cut with fine lacy threads of cool grapefruity acidity. Rolls long and serious to a refreshing, gently puckering finish.”
Mike Bennie, Gourmet Traveller Wine
“Wheaty, green melon, cut hay, nutty, citrus leaf and grapefruit aromas. The palate is textured and layered. There's mealiness, stone fruit, marzipan and spice. There's some phenolic grip that shapes the wine nicely and the acid is bright and crunchy. A complex and textured wine.”
Aaron Brasher, The Real Review