Now here is a white wine you may never have tasted—or even heard of—Marsanne (mahr-SAHN).
This grape is typically grown in the northern Rhone region of France and usually blended with Roussanne and often Viognier and Grenache Blanc as well. However, Tahbilk winery from Australia does a straight up version from the oldest Marsanne vines in the world (planted in 1927). And the resulting wine is a marvel.
In its youth, lively notes of honeysuckle, a hint of savoury herbs, whispers of Myer lemon, honey and spice overlay a bone-dry backbone punctuated with crisp acidity and a streak of minerality. Perfectly balanced and low in alcohol (11-12.5% depending on vintage),Tahbilk Marsanne makes an excellent aperitif as well as a perfect partner with rich seafood (particularly shellfish such as lobster, crab, and scallops) but also with chicken, pork, and spicy dishes and Asian cuisine.
With the pedigree to age beautifully, over time and careful cellaring, Marsanne transforms into a rich complexity of marmalade, toast and lemon cream. If you just can’t wait, Tahbilk offers their Museum Release.
So if Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, and Pinot Gris are just too predictable, try the intriguing Tahbilk Marsanne.
My first introduction to Marsanne was from France, but this Aussie gem has become my house wine. Let me know what yours is and if you have tried Marsanne. Cheers!