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Marsanne is a white grape variety that is known for its weight and structure but often lacks depth of perfume and flavor. It is commonly blended with its more aromatic cousin Roussanne, and the more international pairing with Viognier. Together Marsanne and Roussanne form the core of white wines from both Crozes-Hermitage and Saint-Joseph, and the sparkling whites of Saint-Péray. Marsanne is also a key ingredient in white Côtes du Rhône wines, usually alongside Grenache Blanc and Viognier. The grape variety is named after a commune near Montélimar in the Drôme region of the northern Rhône, which is thought to be its most likely birthplace. The grape is known to have good aging potential and can produce complex and ageworthy wine. In hot climates, Marsanne can struggle to retain enough acidity to prevent its weight from muting its flavor. Marsanne is most famously found in varietal form outside of France, notably in Australia, where it was first planted in the 1860s.
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