2004 Alban Vineyards Estate Roussanne from California's Edna Valley...
Color: Rich golden color in the glass with thick legs.
Nose: lemon oil, pineapple, smokey toast and hints of fresh chestnut. In Ukraine, they call them kachtans, and they grow all over the city. Well, this wine smells like kachtan.
Palate: this wine feels oily, with flavors of butternut squash, almonds, also some brown sugar. It was aged in two-thirds new French oak, so there's definitely some smokey, nutty flavors, but somehow the fruit is ripe enough to stand up against the oak. At this point in its life this wine has developed some delicious aged characteristics, and the wine showed more of those complexities as it opened. The acid is just enough to keep it balanced. There’s a delicious hint of honey, but there’s a dose of lime that comes out on the finish and keeps it in balance. Its hard to parse through the flavors and sensations of this wine because it has so much going on.
This is why I love in California wines made from white Rhone varieties. I’m always impressed with Alban's wines, and this was no exception. If you haven't tried a California roussanne, this is a great place to start.
92 pts IJB