Enjoyment of wine can be a surface-oriented pursuit, but wine appreciation as a hobby brings forth a more contemplative and rewarding journey. One of the paths wine afficianados can follow is discovery of new, pioneering winemaking methods, grapes, regions and personalities — and we here in the Northwest are living in the heydey of winemaking pioneers.
Only about 30 years ago did Washington and Oregon start to become “real” winemaking regions. California has had 5 times as long to gather expertise and to set traditions. Europe’s wine regions have had 10 times longer. So as Washington builds from today’s scientific knowledge, investment and past trial & error, the winemakers here have no traditions to restrict new ideas or dreams. It is with past expertise but new ideas that Forgeron has brought us the limited and outstanding 2006 Roussanne! (91 points, Wine & Spirits)
Roussanne has been around a long time, creating white wines in France’s Rhone Valley. The large, floral character can create both delicate and intense wines, and is most often blended with Marsanne and/or Viognier to balance the dynamics. It takes winemaking and grape-growing mastery to bring balance to Roussanne alone, and few wineries even attempt the challenge.
Thank goodness the ladies of Forgeron Cellars in Walla Walla (including French winemaker Marie-Eve) have brought us this delicious wine, even in this extremely limited run. You’ll enjoy cheese-pairing-ready flavors of melon, mild apple, mango and citrus. These are the last remaining bottles of the first vintage of this successful run. The winery has sold out and is already selling the more youthful 2008. You’ll be able to appreciate a more beautifully aged example representing ponderous steps on a tradition-building journey that has only just begun in Washington state.
This wine is regularly sold for $21.99, but is available to wine club members for only $19.99!
Have you tasted this wine? When you’ve had a chance to enjoy this wine, please return to this blog and leave your comments! Others will appreciate your input, unique viewpoint, and recommendations.