2017 Roux Beauté Roussanne Yangarra Estate Vineyard
94 points, AppellationsTen, Michael Rockich
When I was first introduced to Yangarra Estate’s Roussanne at Wine Australia’s Winter Trade Tasting about a year ago, I knew I had to investigate further. I became even more intrigued after I saw a photo of the picturesque bush vines. Set on an ancient sandy dune in McLaren Vale, South Australia, Yangarra Estate Vineyard is a specialist in Rhone style wines. Organically and biodynamically farmed since 2008, Yangarra was first planted in 1946, with nearby vineyards dating from as early as 1850.
In 2000 Jess Jackson, proprietor of Jackson Family Wines, began investigating Australia’s potential for high quality Rhone style vineyards. Within a year he purchased Yangarra Estate, subsequently strengthening and expanding throughout the property, and also commenting on the picturesque bush vines.
Bush vine, Yangarra Estate
Credit Yangarra all photos
The 2017 vintage of Roux Beauté was hand-picked from the oldest Roussanne vines at Yangarra Estate. Specifically, from Bloc 6, a one-hectare parcel out of the total 3.5 hectares certified biodynamic growing on weathered sands and ironstone gravels.
In the cellar half the parcel was destemmed, crushed, then fermented on the skins in two 675L ceramic eggs, remaining in skin contact for a lengthy 131 days until pressing. The remaining 50% went through a similar process minus the skin interaction. The ultimate unfined blend, with a pleasingly low alcohol level of 13%, is comprised of two thirds with lengthy skin contact, and one third without.
Although I picture Rhone style wines as being enjoyed at alfresco dining, they are far more versatile than that. Rhone style can be appreciated in any season, indoors or out. In this wintertime case, I was thinking of a mild soup and decided on leek-carrot-potato soup as a mate.
Pale chaff in color, this 2017 opens with Bosc pears and high notes of apricot on the palate. In the background and barely distinguishable are pleasant bitters and tamarind. Fully a mid-weight, but the impression is a bit lighter. Roussanne has a reputation for high character, and Yangarra’s 2017 Roux Beauté certainly fits that portrayal perfectly. Unveiling outstanding charm, the complexity in this wine leads on with a compellingly inviting and smooth texture. This well-cut, polished Roussanne provides refreshment in its acid level while demonstrating superb balance.
Don’t rush this one. It responds remarkably well to breathing. Elusive and intense impressions unfold slowly with time and air. As the wine evolves the mouthfeel reminds of a mousse with just a thought of honied Greek yogurt at the edge of perception while conveying ripe, luscious fruit in a restrained manner. The overall impression begins in an introspective way, later developing a hedonistic stance, animated and expansive on the palate. A wine of subtleties, and quite unique!
Pairs remarkable well with the warm leek-carrot-potato soup, even echoing its flavors. Has the power to also mate with the garlic-rubbed, grilled sourdough seeded bread. Try remnants the next day for a pleasant surprise. About $50.
A sample for review.