Weekly Wine Quiz #75: Grape Trivia – Marsanne
We are continuing our grape trivia series, still focusing on the white grapes, and today’s subject is grape called Marsanne.
Marsanne seems to originate near the town of Marsanne in Northern Rhône, hence the name. The grape is known at least from the 17th century (but could’ve been used in winemaking before). Marsanne is a foundation for the white wines of Northern Rhône appellations of Crozes-Hermitage, Hermitage, St.-Joseph and St.-Péray, but it is also used in the white wines throughout the whole Côtes du Rhône region and in a few other regions in France. White wines of Northern Rhône are typically full bodied and powerful, known for its great longevity (might be some of the longest living dry white wines). It is not just the longevity which matters - Northern Rhône whites also known to improve with age.
Marsanne made it to Australia in the 1860s, where it became quite popular. It is interesting that considering the fact that Marsanne wines improve with age, one of the best known Australian producers of Marsanne, Tahbilk, makes two releases per year, offering both current and older ( 6 years older or so) vintages of the wines.
Marsanne also made it to California, however, it is not very clear when. Based on some of the internet sources, Marsanne made it to US in the 1870s and was used in some of the red blends, paired with Syrah to replicate Northern Rhône wines. However, it appears that Marsanne started to be actively used in California wines some time in 1980s, and today it is offered by many producers in California and state of Washington.
And now, to the quiz!
Q1: Name the grape, typical blending partner of Marsanne in Northern Rhône
Q2: True or False: Plantings of Marsanne in Australia far exceed Marsanne plantings in France.
Q3: Solve the riddle and explain: Part of 8, but not part of 18
Q4: Marsanne is known in Switzerland under the name of …
Q5: Name major wine producing country which doesn’t make any Marsanne wines of notice
Good luck, enjoy the quiz and your weekend! Cheers!