With precise viticultural and vinification techniques, Marsanne can yield a weighty, extracted wine of deep, golden color, high alcohol and dense texture. Very restrained oak contact can enhance its ability to age.
Marsanne is a vigorous grape that is difficult to vinify well as a single varietal wine. When correctly sited but overcropped, Marsanne loses character. In hot conditions, Marsanne lacks acidity; in cool conditions or if picked early, it fails to develop much flavor. Capable of high sugar and alcohol, the fruit is high in phenolics, non-fruit aromas and color. With low acidity, it tends toward heaviness and short life.
Marsanne most likely originated in the northern Rhône.