The Thursday Tipple – 2010 Ravensworth Marsanne

by C.A. Bonham

Well, we’ve really challenged ourselves here. Marsanne? What’s that?

Marsanne is a white varietal primarily grown in northern Rhone (France), but also northern Spain, US and here in Australia. It’s not well-known or commonly consumed, however in Victoria, there are Marsanne vines dating back to the 1920s. In Canberra, with the right vintage (not too hot) we’re proving that our region and it’s wine makers can put together a cracking example of their own.

So why are we challenging ourselves you ask? Because it’s a challenge to understand and get people to drink Marsanne due largely to its anonymity. When it comes to red wine, Skippys will drink almost anything, but when it comes to white – that’s where people seem to be much more particular. Canberra is a big Riesling region, producing some of Australia’s best in that department – which is okay by us…. unfortunately you also have the ‘Only Chardonnay’ crowd and the ‘ABC’s (Anything but Chardonnay). In addition, there is far too much consumption of our neighbouring country’s Sauvignon Blanc (aka, Cougar-Juice). We’re a judgemental lot, and Marsanne is the subtle beauty you haven’t yet given the attention to.

So lets talk about it! Ravensworth gave us a brilliant Shiraz Viognier in our first ever Thursday Tipple and are producing one of only two Marsanne’s in our Canberra Region. If you were tasting this blind, you may mistake it for a Chardonnay or straight Viognier at first. But it’s a Marsanne! It has the similar creamy viscosity of a Chardy but with a lovely combination of citrus and stonefruit. Almond notes and full, nougaty (is that a word or are we making things up?) body. If you take this wine at face value you may turn your nose up as it’s not what your average Canberran is used to. But think, give it a moment and for only $20 allow yourself to explore something different. We think this offering from Ravensworth is filling a gap between our Canberra Region Rieslings and cool-climate Chardonnays very nicely. We tasted it on it’s own but it would be dynamite with a Veal Marsala or a Carbonara.

Where can I get it?

Ravensworth don’t have a cellar door, however you can purchase their 2010 Marsanne online. Additionally, we’ve spotted it at Artisan in Narrabundah, Rubicon in Griffith and Chairman & Yip in Civic amongst others.

Bon Vivant