While not as temperamental as the Roussanne grape, Marsanne is prone to under performing in less then ideal vineyard sites. In climates that are too hot, the grape can over ripen and produce wine that is very flabby. In places that are too cool, the grape will not ripen fully enough to develop more than just a bland and neutral flavour. Winemakers try to harvest Marsanne just before it hits full ripeness in order to maintain a high level of acidity. Although, some winemakers prefer to let the grape hang longer on the vine to increase its potential alcohol level and its aging potential.
Marsanne produces deeply coloured wines that are rich and nutty, with hints of spice and pear. As Marsanne ages, the wine take on an even darker colour and the flavours can become more complex and concentrated with an oily, honeyed texture. The wines can be high in alcohol and can be oak aged to develop more body.
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