2008 Delille Cellars Doyenne Roussanne

Year: 2008
Appellation: Columbia Valley
Country: USA - Washington
Wine Advocate: 91
Vinous Media: 93
Wine Enthusiast: 92
White Wine
Price :
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"The one white wine is the 2008 Roussanne, a light gold-colored wine with lovely aromas of bee’s wax, honeysuckle, hazelnuts, and melon. Mouth-filling and concentrated, this ripe, lengthy effort will provide much pleasure for another 3-4 years.

Doyenne is the sister label of DeLille Cellars and is used for Rhone varieties. This year only 4 wines were presented (along with a repeat of the 2006 Grand Ciel Vineyard Syrah which was as good as I remembered it)." (WA)

"($32) Pale, bright gold. Aromas of honey, minerals and fresh herbs complicated by a saline quality. At once pliant and gripping on the palate, with complex flavors of pear, lemon and spices. This big wine boasts terrific fruit intensity and persistence. From Ciel du Cheval fruit." (IWC)

"This is a great vintage for this wine, pure Roussanne from Ciel du Cheval vineyard grapes. It opens with high-toned jasmine, lemon and chamomile aromas, lightly touched with honey. Limes, pears and orange marmalade fill the midpalate, opening into a long, lingering finish dotted with white pepper." (WE)


When they are at their best, I have long been a fan of Dry Roussanne white wines. It is the variety that along with Marsanne that produces the great White Rhone wines such as Hermitage and Chateauneuf-du-Pape Blanc.

When Roussanne is vinified by itself without the addition of Marsanne, it becomes clear that it does possess a slight most plesent herbal minerally bouquet and with a surprisingly elegant texture you do not usually expect from a warmer climate variety. The appealing color of this ’08 is a light golden-yellow accompanied by wonderful aromas and tastes of honeysuckle, ripe melons, cinnamon and hints of fresh lemons and limes along with anise and oriental spice.

This medium on the delicate side white in now quite drinkable and yet has the ability to acquire an almost spicy depth of flavor in the next four to five years. The wine would go well with any food that is compatible with Chardonnay and in addition, because of its herbal-cinnamon-saffron quality it is also a fine companion with Southern European and West Asian Cuisine as well as the food from those African lands that border the Mediterranean Sea.

As for myself, I certainly found it a delight to serve with thin slices of veal that I lightly sautéed in butter and olive oil. After I had previously salted and “dusted’ the veal with the French Red Peppery seasoning, now quite popular with many of the top restaurants, Riment D’ESPLETTE (AOC), which my wife picked up at Surfas Food in Culver City.

The winery price is near $30 a bottle with L.A. Wine Company having it on special for under $22.


PRICE: $21.95 ***bargain

WHERE: Los Angeles Wine Co.

(Martin's Guide to Wine Bargains)

Winery Notes:
This wine is so complex this year, we found ourselves trying to one-up each other with notes on the nose and palate. The trademark lime and floral notes on the nose are surrounded by subtle hints of sweet green tea, white pepper, hibiscus and chamomile flowers, wet stone and capsicum. On the palate, this wine has a balanced mouthful of lime, honeydew melon, Bartlett pears, and the aforementioned flowers and spices. The acidity perfectly supports the broad body of the wine, and echoes in the long and complex finish.