Zaca Mesa, Santa Ynez Valley (California) Roussanne 2005

Though viognier gets more hype, it is becoming fairly clear that roussanne is the more promising white Rhone grape in California. Wines made from it do not seem to become overly blowsy or fat, as the variety seems to thrive in Golden State sunshine. This rendition, from the consistently reliable Zaca Mesa winery, tastes rich but balanced, with pear and melon fruit flavors enhanced by secondary notes resembling nuts and spice. It would be great with roast chicken or turkey.