Arterra’s Spring release party in 2018 was quite an amazing event – four wines – a Chardonnay they had recently released, a Rose of Malbec and Petit Verdot, a Chenin Blanc and this Roussanne. The Chenin Blanc and Roussanne were small productions, but incredible wines. I drank over a case of Chenin Blanc since then, and had saved these two Roussannes.
I had sampled the Roussanne at a barrel tasting prior to this, and it had this unexpected sweet honey taste to it. While I understand it’s a more common French grape, I don’t know that I’d had a single varietal Roussanne previously. At the release party, it still had the tiniest residue of that sweetness. Now however, there is just this wonderful crisp taste that is more apple and pear to me than anything else – a little bit of flowers too many, but nothing is overwhelming. It was done in all stainless steel and it had all natural yeast fermentation (one of the reasons I absolutely love this winery!).
At the release event, the winemaker suggested that more like a red, this should be allowed to air and let the temp rise. Sure enough, when you do, it opens up and becomes even better. It feels odd to use a word like smooth for a white wine, but it defintely becomes smoother. I started my bottles chilled in the wine fridge with all other whites and roses, and then brought it to the table, and fiddled around with snacks and such and then came back to pour – so it had enough time to rise a little bit in temp, and that was enough.
Goat cheese. Goat cheese and crackers and this wine. That’s the ticket.
In two weeks I will go to Arterra’s VIP release tasting where I will be thrilled to taste their new Malbec. This winemaker has made some of the best malbec I’ve ever had and I can’t wait – they’re releasing their other reds too. Stay tuned for full news on that event!
For the Roussanne, I’m hoping there are still a few bottles there for when I have some family visiting at the beginning of October – the setting for the winery, on the side of a mountain covered in trees, will be gorgeous by then, and hopefully it will still be warm enough to sit outside with a bottle and love it. If not, everything they have is amazing, so we’ll make do with what is in stock!