Learn everything there is to know about the French Marsanne grape variety, an expert tasting profile and how to pair it with flavourful recipes. Become an expert with our top tasting notes and pick your favourite dishes from our extensive menu options.

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What is Marsanne wine?

Marsanne grapes on vines

Marsanne grapes originate in France, but the variety is much better known in its adopted home of Australia, where, in Victoria, there is the largest planting of Marsanne vines in the world. Back in France, it’s the grape of the Northern Rhône where it’s blended with Roussanne to produce some of the country’s greatest white wines.

Along with its sister variety Roussanne, Marsanne is the white grape of Hermitage in France, producing long-lived and expensive wines. As usual with France, the finest wines made from Marsanne won’t have the word on the label. If it comes from the Northern Rhône area, like Saint-Péray, Crozes-Hermitage or Saint-Joseph, then it’s almost certainly a Marsanne-Roussanne blend. Like Shiraz, Australians think of Marsanne as one of their own varieties. It has been grown there since the mid-19th century, and the oldest vines in the world are probably in Australia. Most Marsanne is a dry, still wine but sparkling wines are made from the variety in Saint-Péray and some producers make extremely rare sweet versions from dried grapes.

What does Marsanne wine taste like?

Young Marsanne tends to taste of lemons with some stone fruit, honey and orange blossom. It should also have a distinct texture and weight in the mouth. The classic style in Victoria involves picking the grapes slightly underripe to preserve acidity, and then bottling with no oak. When young, these taste fresh and citrus, but with time in the bottle, they blossom with notes of vanilla, toast, marzipan and in particular, honeysuckle. Northern Rhône Marsanne blends tend to be weighty, with fairly low acidity and often with some oak ageing.

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What dishes go well with Marsanne wine?

Pork shoulder with apricot filling

Young Australian Marsanne is great with our easy fish recipes as well as strong-tasting vegetables like asparagus, and soft cheeses. The heavier wines from the Northern Rhône suit fatty foods like slow-roasted pork shoulder with leeks, apricots & thyme.

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