91

2014 Paul Jaboulet Aîné, Les Sauvagères, Saint-Péray, Rhône Valley

( £12.99, 13%, Rude Wines )

Saint Péray tends to get overlooked as a source of excellent northern Rhône whites, lost in the shadow of more famous (and expensive) Hermitage and Condrieu. But this pure Marsanne from one of the region’s best known names is delicious: aromatic and floral, with notes of wild herbs and honeysuckle, a touch of oak, hints of fennel and aniseed and a long, stylish, refreshing finish. 

BuyDrinking window: 2016-20Similar Wines: £10-£20, 91-95, France, White, Marsanne
90

2011 Canyon Park, The Guardians MRV, Danube Plain

( £14.95, 13%, The Wine Society )

With a name like Canyon Park, let alone a price tag close to £15, the last place you’d expect this blend of Marsanne, Roussanne and Viognier to come from is Bulgaria, but the country that gave us impossibly cheap Cabernet Sauvignon in the 1980s is emerging from the Eastern European doldrums at last. This is smoky, savoury and perfumed, with aromas of jasmine and honeysuckle, ripe, pear and apricot flavours and subtle oak integration. A sign of very good things to come? 

BuyDrinking window: 2014-16Similar Wines: £10-£20, 86-90, Bulgaria, White, Marsanne, Roussanne, Viognier

Chapoutier’s class of 2013

by Matt Walls
If the majority of the press surrounding the 2013 vintage in Bordeaux is to be believed, most en primeur samples should have been gathered up, put in a sack and...

The Swartland Revolution

by Tim Atkin
Every revolution needs a spark, a catalyst that changes things forever. It might not compare with the storming of the Bastille or the fall of the Berlin Wall, but the...
93

2011 Bird on a Wire Marsanne, Yarra Valley, Victoria

( £32, 14%, Naked Wines )

Caroline Mooney’s wines are some of the most exciting things I’ve tasted from Australia in the last three years. This barrel-fermented Marsanne shows the variety’s classic honeysuckle and aniseed notes, well integrated with oak and sustained by bright acidity. Honey and some white flowers add extra complexity and texture. 

BuyDrinking window: 2013-15Similar Wines: £30-£50, 91-95, Australia, White, Marsanne
91

2011 d'Arenberg The Hermit Crab Marsanne/Viognier, McLaren Vale, South Australia

( £9.99, 13%, Sainsbury's )

The wonderfully theatrical Chester Osborn is better known for his reds than his whites, but he has a suprisingly subtle touch with the latter, as this very lightly oaked blend of Viognier with 32% Marsanne demonstrates. It’s a spicy, pithy, understated white, with good crunch and zest, a hint of apricot and a mealy, balanced finish. 

BuyDrinking window: 2012-14Similar Wines: £5-£10, 86-90, Australia, White, Marsanne, Viognier

Do New World wines age?

by Tim Atkin
What’s the difference between a New and an Old World wine? Twenty-seven years ago, when I started writing about the subject, the distinction was clear-cut. The received wisdom was that...
91

2011 Crozes-Hermitage, Alain Graillot, Crozes-Hermitage, Rhône Valley

( £19.25, 12.5%, Yapp Brothers )

Alain Graillot and his son, Maxime, make some of the best value wines in the northern Rhône Valley, often on a par with more expensive fare from nearby Hermitage. This blend of mostly Marsanne with 20% Roussanne is a stunner: aromatic, mealy and very complex, with notes of brown toast, fresh flowers, oatmeal, peach and citrus fruit. The oak is very subtle, while the finish is long and staisfying. It will age nicely too under screwcap. 

BuyDrinking window: 2012-17Similar Wines: £10-£20, 91-95, France, White, Marsanne, Roussanne
89

2010 All Saints Estate Marsanne, Victoria

( £14.9, 12.2%, Cockburn & Campbell )

A light, refreshing, herbal, honeysuckle-scented Marsanne from All Saints, favouring mealy, citrus fruit over oak influence. The wine is tangy and well-balanced, light enough to enjoy as an aperitif as well as with food. Experience shows that Victorian Marsannes age extremely well. 

BuyDrinking window: 2012-20Similar Wines: £10-£20, 86-90, Australia, White, Marsanne