What we’re drinking: Novelty Hill 2008 Roussanne

Brynn writes:

Here’s a tasty winter white wine for you. Produced by Washington winemaker Mike Januik, this white Rhone grape varietal has quickly become one of my favorite.

Add Januik’s winemaking touch and you’ve got a winner. I bought this wine at the winery in Woodinville after tasting it there, but I’ve seen it in our local grocery stores/wine shops.

At first whiff you could be inclined to think you’re about to try a chardonnay, but don’t let the nose or warm yellow color fool you.

We drank this wine Sunday night with stuffed acorn squash and a garlic seasoned brown rice and quinoa mix. The finish at first left the impression of white grape juice, but the more I let it linger the more I noticed the sweet honeysuckle notes. I also tasted peaches and pear.

Here’s what Januik has to say about his Roussanne:

Vibrant and expressive with wild honeysuckle, juicy melon and fresh citrus aromas and flavors that linger across a lengthy, refreshing finish.

What I like about this wine is it provides crisp citrus notes, but also a medium body that gives some weight to the wine. The wine is aged sur lie for 10 months (which means the discarded yeast cells during fermentation stay in the juice, giving it a rounded mouth) and barrel fermented in neutral French oak. Only a small number of cases were produced, meaning some good TLC went into making this wine.

The grapes are handpicked from Stillwater Creek vineyard — the family vineyard — and fermented in small batches. I believe the price range is below $20.