Last week I had the pleasure to enjoy something I haven't had for a while (no chortling at the back, please). There are some things that I just can't get excited about anymore. All that anticipation just for something plain and generic. It's gladdened my heart that there are still some cheap thrills out there awaiting those brave enough to experiment (Don't make me put you in detention). What's the point of veering away from standard Chards and Sauvs?
A mono-varietal Roussanne is a rare bird around here. For those unfamiliar (for those who are totally uninitiated, Tablas Creek has a good primer article here) with this enigmatic grape, pinning down what makes a good example can be a difficult process. Capable of fleshy, fruity aroma bombs and austere, mineral driven understatements alike, fans of this grape can often be divided. One person's meat, etc etc.
Yangarra Estate Vinyard 2012 Roussanne is a wine I've been looking forward to for some time. When an example turned up as a sample, I was round to my importer friend's apartment like a shot to have a couple of glasses. Straight out of the bottle it's nose is promising. Typical honeyed green fruit, both tree and stone, greet the drinker. Icterine and crystalline on the eye. The palate has a balance of fruit, acid and mineral that mirrors the nose and convinces harmoniously. Secondary notes include hints of walnut and button mushroom. For such a reasonably priced bottle the flavour seems to go on for a lot longer than one might expect. Cellaring for a year or two would, I'm persuaded, yield exciting results. Within the structure of this wine the acid's mineral character I'd expect this wine to slowly evolve from a very flexible light food wine complementing salad and vegetarian food into a very genteel standalone drinker.
Any negatives? Well, could it be said this bottle needs a little more intensity? It could, but that would be missing the point.