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Roussanne

Red-berried ('russet') North Rhône variety which yields irregularly and can produce quite astringent wines, meaning that it is less popular with growers than Marsanne. Its wine can be very fine, however, as witness varietals such as Ch Beaucastel's oak-aged white Châteauneuf-du-Pape. It can age better than Marsanne and smells of mountain herbs. In fact it shines in Savoie as Bergeron (in Chignin) and is also grown in Italy. Improved clones are available and some growers have had success with it in southern France and California's Central Coast.