The texts describe roussanne as a rather sensitive soul in the vineyard, compared with its Rhône stablemate, marsanne. The former has poor resistance to disease and wind, irregular yields and can suffer in drought conditions, whereas the latter is productive with a tendency to flab. However, the roussanne is regarded more highly than marsanne on its native soil and is said to age better. For the Australian reader schooled in the remarkable longevity of marsanne, this is noteworthy.
d’Arenberg in McLaren Vale planted roussanne in the mid 1990s, and the 2013 vintage of the “Money Spider” reviewed here is a smart wine. Its aromatics remind of lemon, hay, wax and wet wool. The palate is bright, crisp and refreshing, with nice balance. Drink on its own or with light summer dishes.