Last fall I attended the Wine Bloggers Conference in Walla Walla, Washington and tasted Otis Kenyon Roussanne (Roo-sahn). After tasting a majority of red wines while I was in Washington, (the ratio of wines produced in Washington is 64% red to 36% white) this Roussanne was a treat to the palate. A medium bodied wine with herbal and citrus notes and a good lingering acidity to refresh the palate. Otis Kenyon Wine made such a positive impression on me, I brought home a bottle of the Roussanne and recently paired it with Moroccan-Spiced Chicken.
Roussanne is a white grape variety believed to have originated from the south of France in the Rhone wine growing region. It is often blended with Marsanne. Outside of France, noteworthy acreage of Roussanne is in the United States, Italy, Australia, South Africa, and Chile. In Washington, the first Roussanne plantings were attributed to White Heron Cellars in 1990. As of 2017, there were 71 acres of Roussanne planted in Washington, mostly in the Columbia Valley, Red Mountain AVA, Yakima Valley, and Horse Heaven Hills. (Source)
Flavor Profile: Medium to full-bodied. Known for its aromatics and elegance. Commonly noted aromas; fruity, floral, apricot, peach, pear, citrus, spices, honeysuckle, iris, and beeswax.
2017 Otis Kenyon Roussanne, Columbia Valley
13.4% abv | $23.00 SRP | 100% Roussanne
Otis Kenyon Wine is a small family-owned winery, founded in 2004 by Steve Kenyon and managed with his daughter Muriel. Otis Kenyon produces Bordeaux and Rhone varietal wines from their Stellar Vineyard located in the Rocks District of Milton-Freewater on the Oregon side of Walla Walla and sourced fruit from the Columbia Valley.
Medium bodied and acidity. On the palate herbal notes with citrus, beeswax, and a round, smooth mouthfeel.
I paired the Otis Kenyon Roussanne with a Moroccan-spiced chicken layered with flavors of herbs, spices, and citrus. The savoriness in the Roussanne is echoed in the dish with cilantro, cumin, ginger, garlic, and a not too spicy rose harissa. In addition to the savory elements, the velvety texture of the roasted eggplant, dates, and chicken are balance with the wine’s acidity, medium body, and overall smooth mouthfeel.
- 1 cup basmati rice
- 1 large white onion, chopped
- 1 eggplant, cut into 1-inch size cubes
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon rose harissa
- 1 blood orange, zested and juiced
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 12 dates, pitted and sliced
- 2-1/2 cups chicken broth, boiling
- kosher salt and pepper
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
Preheat the oven to 400º F.
Rinse the rice in a sieve until the water runs clear. Put the rice in an oven proof heavy duty sauté pan or shallow cast-iron pan, 12-inches in diameter. Mix in all the other ingredients except the olive oil and cilantro. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with the olive oil.
Cook in the preheated oven for about 40 minutes or until an instant thermometer reads 165º F when inserted into one of the chicken breasts.
Sprinkle with chopped cilantro and serve with a simple green salad.
Disclosure I registered for the conference as a “citizen blogger/writer” at a reduced rate in exchange for writing three posts about the conference. All opinions are my own.
The Wine Bloggers’Conference (now known as “Wine Media Conference” is organized by Zephyr Conferences. This year the conference will be held in Hunter Valley Australia you can check out the details here.