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The grape most likely originated in the Northern Rhône region of France where it is widely planted today. And more precisely the village and abbey of Marsanne. It is a principal component of the white wines from the Hermitage, Crozes-Hermitage and Saint-Joseph. It is the most widely planted white wine grape in the Hermitage AOC, where it is often blended with Roussanne. Along with Roussanne, up to 15% of Marsanne can be added to the red wine of Hermitage under Appellation d'origine contrôlée (AOC) regulations.
In the Saint-Péray AOC, it is used for both still and sparkling wine production. In the Southern Rhône, Marsanne is not one of the white grapes permitted in the Châteauneuf-du-Pape AOC, although Roussanne is. It can be found in some white wines from the Côtes du Rhône AOC. Outside the Northern Rhône region, Marsanne is also found in Savoie and in the Languedoc where it is often blended with Viognier. It is a permitted grape in the Provence wine of Cassis though it is not widely used.
94 points - James Halliday
"This is crisp but powerful with nectarine, spice & citrus notes trending positively through the palate. More than a touch of class about it." - James Halliday
91pts - Robert Parker - The Wine Advocate
"Another terrific white is the 2015 Côtes du Rhône Blanc, a cuvée that continues to over-deliver in just about every vintage. Tasting like a top-flight Condrieu with its tangerine, honey & floral aromas and flavors, it’s pure, elegant & impeccably balanced on the palate." - Robert Parker - The Wine Advocate
"Nervy green edge on the Viognier perfume. Round & smooth ....perfectly friendly. "60% Viognier, 15% Roussanne, 5-7% Marsanne." - Jancis Robinson