Nose

Floral aromas of pineapple, honeysuckle, and jasmine, with highlights of brioche and vanilla.

Palate

The mouth is crisp, with clean flavors of fresh pear, honeydew melon, and apricot. Bright acidity provides a lengthy finish of citrus, mineral, and spice.

Growing Conditions

This white varietal has been traditionally associated with the Northern Rhone, where it is blended with Marsanne to make white Hermitage wines. In 1998, three acres of Roussanne were planted on the southern end of the Truchard Estate Vineyard. Growing in soils composed of volcanic rock and ash, the vines benefit from the gently sloped terrain and cooler Carneros temperatures. Roussanne is a challenging grape in both the vineyard and winery. However, when done correctly it can produce an aromatic and delicate wine with the structure and finesse to age.

Harvest

After 4 dry years, the 2017 harvest can be considered almost “normal”. Record winter rains finally provided some real drought relief; but bud-break still came about 1 week earlier than usual. Warm spring weather allowed for good berry set and a slightly below average crop. Hot summer and autumn temperatures quickly brought the fruit to maturity. Severe wild fires near the end of harvest made this a memorable vintage. The wines of 2017 are intense, but elegant; with nice acidity and balance.

Winemaking

All of the fruit was whole cluster pressed and fermented in French oak barrels (20%) new. After fermentation the wine remains in barrel on the lees (sur lie) for 6 months. A partial malolactic fermentation (30% complete) allows the wine to retain its natural acidity, while regular stirring of the lees (battonage) gives added complexity and richness. This wine was bottled in April 2018.