Viognier, Roussanne, and Marsanne : White Northern Rhones in Washington State

Getting bored with Chardonnay? Check out Washington State’s emerging Northern Rhone white varietals.

Viognier – Walla Walla Valley 2017

Screen Shot 2014-07-18 at 2.52.50 PM      $165 per 5.25 gallon pail

Harvested 9/27/2017                        Brix: 23.3, pH: 3.49, TA: .51

Buy-Grapes-Juice-Viognier-White-Red-Rhone-Walla Walla-Washington
Walla Walla Viognier

“Viognier wines tend towards honeyed lushness, intriguing floral aromas, and rich texture.” – GuildSomm

“Most loved for its perfumed aromas of peach, tangerine and honeysuckle, Viognier can also be oak-aged to add a rich creamy taste with hints of vanilla.” – Wine Folly

Check out Great Northwest Wine’s list of recommended Washington Viognier.

Roussanne – Columbia Valley 2016

SOLD OUT!!  $155 per 5.25 gallon pail

Harvested 9/19/2016          Brix: 22.2 pH: 3.35

“Roussanne’s chief attribute is it’s

Buy-Grapes-Juice-Roussanne-White-Red-Columbia Valley
Columbia Valley Roussanne

haunting aroma, something akin to a particularly fresh herb tea, together with acidity that allows it to age gracefully.” – The Oxford Companion to Wine

“Roussanne adds acidity, waxy minerality to Marsanne’s broader, oily texture and marzipan character.” – GuildSomm

“The big surprise  is Roussanne, such purity, almost a crystalline nature to the Roussanne grown here  (Washington).” Bob Betz, Master of Wine

Check out Paul Gregutt’s list of recommended Washington Roussanne wines.

Marsanne – Walla Walla Valley 2017

Screen Shot 2014-07-18 at 2.52.50 PM      $165 per 5.25 gallon pail

Harvested 9/27/2017                        Brix: 20.8, pH: 3.69, TA: .39

“Marsanne is a light straw color, almost

Buy-Grapes-Juice-Rhone-Marsanne-White-Red-Walla Walla-Washington
Walla Walla Marsanne

green, with moderate acidity and excellent mid-palate richness. Its mineral flavors and aromas, and its low alcohol, make it an ideal blending grape. The varietal has been historically blended with Roussanne, where it tones down the viscosity and acidity of Roussanne and provides a more complex flavor. ” – Jason Haas of Tablas Creek Winery

“White Hermitage is the first wine of the world without a single exception.” – Thomas Jefferson

Cofermenting with Syrah

Most of the world’s greatest Syrah based wines come from the Northern Rhone and most of those Syrahs are cofermented with white grapes. This has the counter-intuitive effect of stabilizing color and increasing freshness. Here are the legal limits for blending white grapes in Northern Rhone AOC red wines.

  • Cote-Rotie – Up to 20% Viognier.
  • Crozes- Hermitage – Up to 20% Marsanne and Roussanne.
  • Hermitage – Up to 20% Marsanne and Roussanne .
  • St. Joseph – Up to 10% Marsanne and Roussane.