30 Second Wine Advisor: Roussanne goes Down Under 30 Second Wine Advisor: Roussanne goes Down Under

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The California Wine Club: Reds, Whites & You Sale!
There is still time to save during The California Wine Club's Reds, Whites & You Sale.
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Roussanne goes Down Under

Speaking of offbeat white grapes, as we're doing in this month's Wine Focus in our WineLovers Discussion Groups, Roussanne - whose name may remind you as much of a French philosopher as a wine grape - rates high among favorite white-wine varieties for me.

Roussanne ("Roo-sahn") makes its native home in France's Rhone Valley, where it's one of the 13 permitted grapes in Chateauneuf-du-Pape, one of the only whites allowed in the blend for Hermitage and its neighbors, and it may be used in Côtes-du-Rhôtes in general. It's a significant minor player in white wines in much of Provence and the Languedoc.

It holds minority status because it's hard to grow and subject to vine diseases; but vine growers don't abandon it because it can make a very fine white wine indeed, blended with its cousin Marsanne and sometimes others or, particularly in Australia, made as a single-varietal wine. Herbal and intense, textured and crisply acidic, Roussanne would likely be considerably more familiar if only it were easier to grow.

Today's tasting, an early arrival from the U.S. importer, should be appearing at U.S. retail soon. Roussanne ages well, particularly in this bottling with its sturdy metal screwcap, so don't hesitate to pick up earlier vintages. Based on Wine-Searcher.com listings for earlier vintages, you should be able to find it for well under the $25 suggested retail price.

The wine's curious moniker "Money spider," by the way, pays d'Arenberg's homage to tiny Australian spiders that crawled to the top of a mound of Roussane grapes in the wine's first vintage, spinning a cover of delicate webs. Workers removed them and their work with loving care, as the money spider is thought to bring good luck: Treat them with respect, and money will come your way. You'll find my tasting notes below.

I hope you'll join us in Wine Focus this month, posting online your tasting reports, comments and questions about your favorite little-known whites. You'll find Wine Focus in our WineLovers Discussion Groups at this link:
http://www.wineloverspage.com/forum/village/viewforum.php?f=18
The discussions are open for public viewing, but you must register to post. Registration is free and easy; we ask only that you join following our Real Names Real Format system, using your real name in the format "John Doe" or "John D".

Once your registration has been approved, which usually happens quickly, you'll be able to participate in all our online wine, food and travel forums.


Today's Sponsor

California Wine Club

The California Wine Club: Reds, Whites & You Sale!

There is still time to save during The California Wine Club's Reds, Whites & You Sale. Choose from a tasty selection of limited-production Californian, and international wines. Please visit www.cawineclub.com and click on the Reds, Whites & You button to see the full list of wines on sale. You may also call them at 1-800-777-4443.

As always, every wine is hand-selected by club owners, Bruce and Pam Boring from small, real working wineries and comes with their 100 percent guarantee. That guarantee is what keeps their customers happily coming back for nearly 20 years. If you are unhappy for any reason, they will replace the wine, or refund your money.

Each month The California Wine Club features a new "mom & pop" winery and two limited-production, award-winning wines. Club shipments also include their beautiful 12-page, full-color magazine Uncorked. Uncorked introduces the family making the wine, tasting notes, recipes, wine tips, wine luminary interviews and much more.

Try the club for yourself, or send a gift, each month is just $34.95 plus shipping. Choose to receive shipments monthly, every other month or quarterly.

To learn more about the club, or order during this week's Reds, Whites & You Sale visit www.cawineclub.com or call 1-800-777-4443.


Today's Tasting Report

d'Arenberg 2008 "The Money Spider" McLaren Vale Roussanne ($25)d'Arenberg Roussanne

Very pale straw color with glints of gold. Good melon scent with hints of tropical fruit and fresh mixed herbs. Mouth-filling and textured, rich white fruit nicely shaped by snappy acidity. Fruit communicates an initial sense of sweetness, but it finishes clean and dry. Alcohol is held within reason at 13.5 percent. Winery Website: http://www.darenberg.com.au. U.S. importer:Old Bridge Cellars, Napa. Calif. (July 11, 2009)

FOOD MATCH: Try it with pork, poultry or just about any seafood or fowl. Served at a buffet dinner at a friend's home, it went well with such diverse dishes as grilled salmon and turkey burgers.

FIND THIS WINE ONLINE:
Check prices and find vendors for d'Arenberg "Money Spider" Roussanne on Wine-Searcher.com:
http://www.wine-searcher.com/find/Arenberg%2bMoney%2bSpider/-/-/-/USD/A?referring_site=WLP


Talk About Wine Online

If you have questions, comments or ideas to share about today's article or wine in general, you're always welcome to drop by our online WineLovers Discussion Group, the Internet's first and still the most civil online community. To find our forums, click:
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Discussions are open for public viewing, but you must register to post. Registration is free and easy; we ask only that you join following our Real Names Real Format system, using your real name in the format "John Doe" or "John D". Anonymous, cryptic or first-name-only registrations are discarded without notice.

Once your registration has been approved, which usually happens quickly, you'll be able to participate in all our online wine, food and travel forums.

To contact me by E-mail, write wine@wineloverspage.com. I'll respond personally to the extent that time and volume permit.


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