Marselan Grape ?

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Marselan Grape ?

Postby Gary Kahle » Mon Jan 07, 2013 1:58 pm

A friend came by yesterday with a bottle of wine made from a grape (Marselan) that I had not drunk before. I understand it’s a hybrid made from crossing Cabernet Sauvignon and Grenache back in 1961 with label approval in USA around 2006 or 2007. This bottle was from Domaine de Couron located in Coteaux de L’Ardeche.
The color was dark purple and aromas of blackberry and other dark fruits. In the mouth it was big and soft with low tannins. I must say that if it had been served blind I would never guessed anything to do with Cabernet or Grenache. I might have guessed a Languedoc or southern Rhone with Syrah and Carrignan.
Has anyone else had experience with this grape?
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Re: Marselan Grape ?

Postby Hoke » Mon Jan 07, 2013 2:23 pm

Had it recently as a blender, Gary, but never as a stand-alone variety, so can't really calibrate what it contributed to the blend.
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Re: Marselan Grape ?

Postby Peter May » Tue Jan 08, 2013 10:18 am

Yeah, had it as a varietal.

Nice soft and brambly. That was a 2002 which was the first vintage released as a varietal in France.

For such a new variety (cross please, not hybrid) it seems to have potential.

It's one of the varieties being grown experimentally in Bordeaux for consideration for approval in the future.

Ch Lafite Rothschild have already planted Marselan - and Syrah - alongside the traditional Bordeaux varieties in their vineyards in China.
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Re: Marselan Grape ?

Postby Brian K Miller » Tue Jan 08, 2013 1:17 pm

I actually tried a CALIFORNIA version. It reminded me quite a bit of Carrigane, actually. Brambly, with a green herbal note.
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Re: Marselan Grape ?

Postby Hoke » Tue Jan 08, 2013 3:01 pm

Interesting that Bordeaux, stuffy and conservative as it is, is engaging with Marselan.

FYI, here's a Bloomberg article on it. http://www.businessweek.com/lifestyle/miracle-marselan-a-marvelous-new-varietal-09092011.html where the author alludes to Marselan as adding a 'cheerful vivacity' of Grenache to the sturdier Cabernet Sauvignon.

Corollary story: about two or three years ago I was having a rather lovely dinner in Sonoma with two very prestigious Bordeaux winemakers (Directeur de Techniques) and in our wide-ranging discussion of all things vinous, both gentleman assertively stated that the one grape they would love to see in Bordeaux's pantheon of allowed grapes is...Syrah.

They felt Syrah would be a wonderful blender for the wines of Bordeaux. I will admit I was a bit shocked when two such winemakers form such august chateaux made this statement so forcefully and without hesitation.

Now we have the Cab Sauv/Grenache cross, which is apparently seen as quite successful in Bordeaux, even though it was originally developed for the Languedoc, and all who have tasted it apparrently agree on the brambly and vivacious aspect the grape brings to a blend (or on its own varietal statement).

Looks like a grape, and a trend, worth watching.
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Re: Marselan Grape ?

Postby Ryan M » Wed Jan 09, 2013 12:04 am

Hoke wrote:Corollary story: about two or three years ago I was having a rather lovely dinner in Sonoma with two very prestigious Bordeaux winemakers (Directeur de Techniques) and in our wide-ranging discussion of all things vinous, both gentleman assertively stated that the one grape they would love to see in Bordeaux's pantheon of allowed grapes is...Syrah.

They felt Syrah would be a wonderful blender for the wines of Bordeaux. I will admit I was a bit shocked when two such winemakers form such august chateaux made this statement so forcefully and without hesitation.


Sometime in the past few years, Ch. Palmer actually released a "Historical Blend" with Syrah in it, a sort of tribute to the "Hermitaged" clarets of the 19th Cen. So there is historical precendent for it. BUT, I think letting Syrah loose in Bordeaux might be dangerous - imagine Perse and Rolland and the ultra-modernist lot getting a hold of Syrah - some of the wines, particularly on the Right Bank, are already grotesque characitures of claret as it is.
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Re: Marselan Grape ?

Postby Richard Fadeley » Sun Jan 13, 2013 3:01 pm

I ran across this grape in the southern Rhone about 5 years ago. I bought several bottles as a varietal wine, but it was mainly being blended. The locals had high hopes for it and plantings are increasing.
I understand that it has been approved for Vin de Pays already and they hope for inclusion into the approved blend of Cotes-du-Rhone. I was very nice when blended with syrah. I will open my laxt bottle and report on ageability.
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