Marsanne, maybe I like it, maybe I don't

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Marsanne, maybe I like it, maybe I don't

Postby wrcstl » Fri Jun 23, 2006 10:42 am

Went to a white wine tasting where you had to identify from a list of 8 wines (grapes) which wine was in what glass. A very interesting tasting but the thing that stood out was how different one grape was, marsanne. The fruit is ripe cantelope, figs and almonds. The taste was of the earth, large in body, low in acidity with a tongue coating viscosity. It was the most interesting wine, the one that stood out from the others and somewhat of an anti-white wine. The direct opposite of say a NZ SB or other refreshing summer white quaffers. Not sure what to serve it with but my guess is on a winter day with a full bodied meal. Forgetting great aged Hermitage not sure if I like this wine or not. My wife does not like the flavor profile so guess that means it probably will not end up in our cellar.
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Re: Marsanne, maybe I like it, maybe I don't

Postby Ian Sutton » Fri Jun 23, 2006 11:03 am

Walt
Have you ever had Tahbilk Marsanne from Gouldburn Valley in Victoria, Australia? A very good wine with about 5-7 years age on it. Not expensive (about £7-8 in UK).
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Luv The Stuff....

Postby TomHill » Fri Jun 23, 2006 11:35 am

Walt,
Marsanne is a very interesting wine. Sometimes, when young, it can be a bit simple & clunky. Sometimes very fragrant and floral. But it's a wine that seems to have a remarkable ability to age. The Qupe Marsanne is one of my favorites. Bob Lindquist likes to show 10 yr old Marsanne at his tastings and it can take on this lovely nutty/toasted hazelnuts/honeyed complex character.
The Tabihlk is easily the best one from Oz.
And the French versions can be quite good, also w/ some age. When young, they tend to have an austere/stoney/earthy character.
It's a great variety and an interesting alternative to Chard.
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Re: Luv The Stuff....

Postby Randy Buckner » Fri Jun 23, 2006 12:41 pm

The Qupe Marsanne is one of my favorites.


Beckman used to make a nice one out of Santa Ynez. Haven't seen one is a while. Are they even around anymore?
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Re: Marsanne, maybe I like it, maybe I don't

Postby Howie Hart » Fri Jun 23, 2006 12:46 pm

Just curious - what were the other grapes?
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Re: Luv The Stuff....

Postby wrcstl » Fri Jun 23, 2006 12:48 pm

TomHill wrote:Walt,
Marsanne is a very interesting wine. Sometimes, when young, it can be a bit simple & clunky. Tom


Tom,
At first taste I thought simple but after playing with it the nutiness and depth showed through. It was a '04 Colombier Croze-Hermitage, a Kysela import. The good news is that it was easy to identify
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Re: Luv The Stuff....

Postby Jenise » Fri Jun 23, 2006 12:52 pm

Walt, the first thing I ever read about Marsanne was that it was "white wine for the red wine drinker." Sounds like you might relate to that.

Randy, Beckmen's definitely around and they still work with the white Rhone varietals. Had a roussane/marsanne/viognier blend last year that was just lovely.
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Re: Marsanne, maybe I like it, maybe I don't

Postby wrcstl » Fri Jun 23, 2006 12:57 pm

Howie Hart wrote:Just curious - what were the other grapes?


Howie,
It was a good day as I identified all 8 properly. To give the organizers credit the wines were selected because they exhibited expected flavors from the grape. We had a list to tell us what was being served, just didn't know what wine was in what glass.

Chard - Domestic - could taste the oak and butter
NZ SB - dominate citrus
Pinot Grigio - Hardest to identify, was one of final 2 so had to be the PG
Riesling - cheap German, sweet but with an acidic background
Chablis - tight, no oak, good acidity
Marsanne -
Gewurztraminer - too sweet, worst of the group, domestic, esy to identify when one had to be a gewrtz and one a Pinot Grigio
Viognier - Floral, somewhat light body

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Re: Luv The Stuff....

Postby Patchen (Chicago) » Fri Jun 23, 2006 12:58 pm

Tom -- this exchange reminds me that I posted a TN on a 2000 Qupe Marsanne way back when, and had about the same reaction to it that Walt did; you (and maybe Steve Edmunds) told me to try letting it age a while... so I have a couple of bottles of that same wine in the back of my cellar somewhere. I'll report back in 3.5 years...

cheers

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Re: Marsanne, maybe I like it, maybe I don't

Postby Mark S » Fri Jun 23, 2006 1:09 pm

I can tell you I like the more exotically scented and flavored rousanne better than it's blending partner, which I find to taste of epoxy and fresh curing cement mix. True, with age, they do take on an intriguing nuttiness and almost vin jauneness character, but sometimes the wait is long (10+ years). So, as a single variety, I'll pass, but blend it with rousanne and slap an "Hermitage blanc" on the label and I'd be all over it :P
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Re: Marsanne, maybe I like it, maybe I don't

Postby Bernard Roth » Fri Jun 23, 2006 9:57 pm

I wouldn't describe Marsanne as a low acid variety. Your example was clearly atypical. Should not draw conclusions from that example.
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Re: Marsanne, maybe I like it, maybe I don't

Postby Hoke » Fri Jun 23, 2006 11:38 pm

Bernard: You must be thinking of St-Peray when you talk about high-acid varieties.

Mark S.: I'm with you, guy. Love my Roussanne. Usually much more than Marsanne.

Tahbilk: Clearly the best of the New World producers. Also one of the oldest vineyards of Marsanne, and I think the largest, in the world. Definitely improves with age.

Haven't had one in years now, but Mitchellton used to make a decent Goulburn Valley/Victoria Marsanne (they are close to Tahbilk, and may use some of Tahbilk's grapes). Last time I tried it though, looked like they were going the oak route, so I never went back.
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Re: Marsanne, maybe I like it, maybe I don't

Postby Bob Henrick » Sat Jun 24, 2006 10:03 am

Hi Walt! As some here on the forum know, I am engaged in trying to put together a vertical of the Ch. Tahbilk (Aus) marsanne. In fact it may well be my favorite white wine of all. If it weren't for Musar, I would say it was definitely my favorite. As Ian said, the Tahbilk usually starts to sing at 5 years out from vintage and in good years it comes together rather nicely at or around 10 years from vintage. Wish I had a trip planned to STL soon as I could bring some with a bit of bottle age on them. I would venture that we might change your wife's mind about marsanne! :)
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Re: Luv The Stuff....

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Sat Jun 24, 2006 10:24 am

Interesting wines to talk about! I have a few from d`Arenberg in the cellar plus a few blends from Garretson that would appear ready to go. As a lover of Viognier, am picking up anything I see from S France.
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Re: Marsanne, maybe I like it, maybe I don't

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Sat Dec 02, 2006 8:38 am

Bob Henrick wrote:Hi Walt! As some here on the forum know, I am engaged in trying to put together a vertical of the Ch. Tahbilk (Aus) marsanne. In fact it may well be my favorite white wine of all. If it weren't for Musar, I would say it was definitely my favorite. As Ian said, the Tahbilk usually starts to sing at 5 years out from vintage and in good years it comes together rather nicely at or around 10 years from vintage. Wish I had a trip planned to STL soon as I could bring some with a bit of bottle age on them. I would venture that we might change your wife's mind about marsanne! :)


Hey Bob H, have you seen the WS thrashing of the `05 Tahbilk Marsanne?!!
81/100,bad day in the office?
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Re: Marsanne, maybe I like it, maybe I don't

Postby Bob Henrick » Sat Dec 02, 2006 10:22 am

Bob, I haven't read a WS mag in 15 or more years, so I don't know what issue of it you are speaking of. I will go online to their web page and try to track down the article though. In my opinion a rating like that is bad for a lot of people. Some I can think of are the Purbricks who make the wine. Bart Broadbent the importer, the local distributor and the retailer. But for me it probably spells either a continued affordable price, or possible the chance that it will be dropped from some shortsighted middleman's inventory.
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Re: Marsanne, maybe I like it, maybe I don't

Postby Ian Sutton » Sat Dec 02, 2006 11:55 am

Bob Henrick wrote:Bob, I haven't read a WS mag in 15 or more years, so I don't know what issue of it you are speaking of. I will go online to their web page and try to track down the article though. In my opinion a rating like that is bad for a lot of people. Some I can think of are the Purbricks who make the wine. Bart Broadbent the importer, the local distributor and the retailer. But for me it probably spells either a continued affordable price, or possible the chance that it will be dropped from some shortsighted middleman's inventory.

I agree - the one thing a score like that is good for, is stopping stupid price hikes by wine shops that don't really care about what's in the bottle as long as the points are good.
Jeremy Olivers (Oz critic) TN suggests it's on the austere side which (IMO) is better than when it shows tropical fruit flavours. Based on his TN: I'd expect it to develop well in the cellar (but for the sake of certain wine shops... yes it's quite awful, barely an 81 if I'm being generous :wink:

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Re: Marsanne, maybe I like it, maybe I don't

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Sat Dec 02, 2006 11:58 am

It was in the Austalia Whites piece at the back of the mag. Me, I do not put any faith in their scores of course. Just passing on what I came across last night!!!! Ian Sutton emailed me, Oliver gave an 89!!
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Re: Marsanne, maybe I like it, maybe I don't

Postby Jenise » Sat Dec 02, 2006 12:50 pm

Further illustrates what I keep trying to hammer into the head of one of my neighbors here, that the Spectator's scores--or any critics--are only worthwhile if one agrees with their definition of good. And to the Spectator, plush and fruity are good, austere isn't, regardless of which would be the better wine two or five years out.
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Re: Marsanne, maybe I like it, maybe I don't

Postby Bob Henrick » Sat Dec 02, 2006 1:46 pm

Something else Bob, is that if the "taster" has no experience with marsanne, it will not show it's potential like chard, or SB, the fact is that (IMO) young marsanne just is not really good, it's a little bit like the ugly duckling who turns into a beautiful swan. (to put it into bird terms) No matter who made the wine they seem simple. It is time that make the wine, as much as the winemaker. I have never made any wine, but I would bet that a winemaker who is not familiar with the grape would find that it would take some vintages to get it right. The youngest Tahbilk marsanne I own is the 2002 vintage, and it has not yet begun to hit it's stride.
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Re: Marsanne, maybe I like it, maybe I don't

Postby wrcstl » Sat Dec 02, 2006 2:03 pm

Bob Parsons Alberta. wrote:It was in the Austalia Whites piece at the back of the mag. Me, I do not put any faith in their scores of course. Just passing on what I came across last night!!!! Ian Sutton emailed me, Oliver gave an 89!!


That settles it, I am going out this afternoon and try and find a bottle. If the WS gave it an 81 I know I will like it. Will just hide it in the corner of the cellar for 3 years.
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Re: Marsanne, maybe I like it, maybe I don't

Postby Jay Labrador » Sun Dec 03, 2006 12:04 am

81 from WS? That must be a pretty good wine!
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Re: Marsanne, maybe I like it, maybe I don't

Postby Bartholomew Broadbent » Mon Dec 04, 2006 4:53 pm

Hi Bob
I didn't realise that you were even more in love with Musar Blanc than you are with Tahbilk Marsanne. I think we should stop sending wines like those to the press, unless we know that the wine is going to receive the proper handling. You can't put those wines in a line up against other wines from the area. Imagine tasting a bunch of Sauvignon Blancs from New Zealand and Australia and then tasting a Marsanne!

By the way, did you know that Tahbilk's Marsanne vineyard is the largest Marsanne vineyard in the world and has the oldest Marsanne vines in the world? We currently have the 2002 in stock but we also have 5 cases of the 1999 [which aren't on the website as they are only available on special request].
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Re: Marsanne, maybe I like it, maybe I don't

Postby Bob Henrick » Mon Dec 04, 2006 10:40 pm

I have to admit Bart, that I do love the Musar as much as the Tahbilk. I bought two cases of each this past summer, 2002 vtg of the Tahbilk, and 1998 of the Musar. I just wish I could afford some of the older vintages of Musar that you have in the warehouse...both red and white. :wink:

I will contact Steve Woods about the 1999 Tahbilk although I do still have 7 bottles of it in the cellar.

I was pleasantly surprised to see that you had posted on the forum, it would be nice if you and Peter Spann could find a little time to post from time to time.
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