Lattanzio Russian River Marsanne/Roussanne Blend 4-Pack
$59.99 $119.00 50% off List Price
2011 Laura’s Cuvée White Wine, Russian River Valley
CT link above
2011 Lattanzio Laura’s Cuvée
International Chip’s airline miles ran out and he was temporarily grounded. Fortunately there was some 2011 Lattanzio “Laura’s Cuvée” around, from Sonoma County’s Russian River Valley. Pale gold in the glass, with nice clarity and a buttery citrus zest nose. The oak treatment is immediately apparent and the buttery note from the nose follows into the palate. Lemon curd and peach notes with a slightly viscous/oily mouthfeel. I pegged this as a Chard/Viognier blend due to the Chard-like oaky butteriness of the wine along with the citrus/lemon/peach notes and viscous/oily mouthfeel that are often found in Viognier. I also suspected a third component, which I guessed was either Gewurztraminer or Chenin Blanc.
I was happy/surprised when I viewed the CT entry for this wine and under “White Wine Blend” it said;
“Wow, I pretty much nailed it!” I thought as I patted myself on the back. I decided to research further by viewing the Lattanzio website but they did not list this wine. Googling, I found what must have been a cached page from their website with details on the Laura’s Cuvee. It mentioned that the wine was fairly light in style for the grape varieties used, particularly Marsanne.
Wait a minute. Marsanne? Googling some more, I find a pdf spec sheet on the wine. It says 50% Roussanne, 50% Marsanne. It’s then that I delve further into the previously mentioned “White Wine Blend” description in CT to find that it’s supposed to be a general description of white wine blends but somewhere along the way, a CT user has erroneously entered the grapes used in a specific wine (and then it was modified 5x by other users who did the same thing).
Turns out I was totally wrong in trying to identify the varieties. I clearly have a long, long way to go before I could ever become a Somm!
Getting back to the wine, as it warmed and breathed it became more spicy with a white pepper note and acidic bite that was enjoyable and surprising for a Roussanne/Marsanne. The more I drank it, the more I liked it. It paired wonderfully with some Beehive Barely Buzzed cheese and also went well with Penne Pasta and Broccoli in Alfredo sauce. I like this better as a food wine than a stand-alone sipper but it is enjoyable both ways.
Marsanne/Roussanne blends can be really interesting so thought I’d poke around and see what I could find. I know no one likes pro reviews here but they can be a reference point along with any thoughts about any bottles that monkeys may have dropped.
2011 Laura’s Cuvee White Wine Russian River Valley ($24)
89 Points Stephen Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar Issue 168: May/June 2013
“(made from a 50/50 blend of marsanne and roussanne) Light gold. Pear skin and honey on the nose, with notes of white flowers and mango adding complexity. Fruity and expansive on the palate, offering an array of tropical and orchard fruit flavors along with a refreshingly bitter touch of lemon rind. Lingers nicely on the finish, which is taut and focused with a refreshingly dry edge.”
I discovered a bottle of this in my living room one afternoon… a single bottle in a nice little box.
It sat out for another 24 hours and then went into the fridge. Another 24 hours passed before we opened it. had I known I had another week, I would have let it rest longer in case of any bottle shock, but what’s done is done.
First opened, still quite cold. Showing a light green apple nose. Pretty color, bright fresh straw. The wine (cold) is crisp and lean, keeping that green apple note with a bit of spice from the oak, but not buttery, thank heavens. Nice greasy mouthfeel, but not terribly viscous. Classic bitter almond note in the finish.
Coming back to it after about 20 minutes… the nose and flavors have evolved. Sweet pear and vanilla are now on the nose; the wine is softer, not so crisp and lean, and has that pear along with a lemon-y pineapple character. The spicy note had strengthened. We kept it out, and that spice got even stronger as the wine came closer to room temperature.
We drank it during dinner - prep and actual eating and it was a nice food wine, but at this point I have no idea what we ate that night and I failed to write it down.
It’s a nice wine for the price point. I liked it, and my husband really liked it. I think it would probably improve a bit over the next 12 months or so, under the proper storage conditions.
This is Justin here, from Lattanzio Wines. I’m the owner/winemaker. My first time on Wine Woot. Really cool site with lots of passionate winos I can tell. The 2011 Laura’s Cuvee is my first crack at a rhone blend. It’s 50/50 Marsanne and Roussanne from the Sara Lee’s Vineyard in RRV. Barrel fermented in neutral oak (well, one was once used) and aged on the lees for 14 months. Picked the grapes fairly early (20 brix for the Roussanne and 22 brix for the Marsanne) because of high botrytis pressure that year. But I like the final product. It’s got a great combo of viscosity and acidity and none of those overripe flavors/textures you can get if you let these varieties hang too long… I’ll be in and out all day to answer questions. Cheers, Justin
We’re glad to have you join us.
Thanks for jumping on and welcome to the community.
We’ll, your fruit source is really good. Welcome to our party and thanks for popping in.
I can’t buy a single thing, wine or otherwise for a while (new house, selling ours, shoot me, etc.), but I love Rhone white varieties, especially from CA. So, bravo for doing some white Rhone stuff. And FWIW, I’d be in if I could spare a penny.
Thanks! Glad to be here… no worries on not pulling the trigger. I get it, believe me. In 2011 I had a vineyard on Sonoma Mountain Road grafted over from Syrah to various clones of Marsanne and Roussanne. Steep north facing vineyard, only three acres. The 2012 Laura’s will be from that vineyard… excited about it!
I’ve got a picky, unimportant correction to the description. Actually, not 20+ year old vines, just 12. We got the entire (tiny) first crop of Saralee’s Roussanne in the year 2000; planted 1999. In 2011 it all rotted well before it got ripe enough for our style of Roussanne.
I’m trying to interpret this. So this winery picked early in 2011 and by the time you went to pick it had all gone bad? Peter, have you had this wine and if so can you comment in it?
That’s the way I read it. The winemaker above stated that they had picked it pretty early because waiting any longer and it would have started to rot. Peter’s style of winemaking has always been an old-world style, so for the Marssanne & Roussanne he would make would only be done at lower brix. If he couldn’t pick at the lower brix, he would skip it. If I look at his website (and CellarTracker) it appears that he didn’t even make a 2011 Roussanne. Though he did make a 2011 Marssanne.
…dropping by this shilly Sonoma afternoon to give my humble two thumbs up. Those of you who have had a glass with me likely know that I enjoy a white rhone. This one caught my eye when I saw Saralee’s Vineyard as the fruit source…
A solid wine in my book. Nice honey’d fruit with a touch of spice. Good mouthfeel and decent acid. A nice alternative white for the fast-approaching summer…
Somehow I put this here telling you had a PM from several days ago at the exact time you were answering it. Amazing Neil! Simply amazing !
Now back to this woot!
We employ several complex algorithms that allow for incredibly intuitive and efficient communication. Sometimes.
Well, I never did get confirmation on the age of the vines. Thanks for the correction. For my eye, the trunk diameters look significantly bigger than vines of 12 years of age…
If I waited another week or two to pick (in 2011) I feel the botrytis would have been too established… so picked earlier than intended with surprisingly pleasant results, at least for my style preference in general…
Well now…just for that snarkey comment I’m ordering.
All tasting notes for this wine have been cross posted into CT under user name wine.woot_taster. User names have been removed to protect the guilty. PM me if you want your tasting note removed or user name added back.
Thanks and back to the wineing.