At the edge of the Mediterranean Sea, the Oppidum (ancient hill-town) Romain d’Ensérune dominates the terroir of the Ensédune wines. It is characterized by one of the warmest and driest climates of France located at the west of Béziers. Proud of a thousand-year-old tradition, the Ensérune winegrowers were keen to develop their vineyards by familiarizing grape varieties from various horizons. Created by teamwork, the Ensédune range is the product of generations of collaboration by winegrowers and presents unusual grape varieties for monovarietal wines.

Marselan is a recent crossing between two famous red grape varieties, Grenache and Cabernet Sauvignon. The highly regarded crossing is now found in niche pockets across the globe from China to Uruguay with its roots firmly in the Languedoc and Provence regions of southern France. Marselan is a moderately vigorous, late-maturing variety. Wines made from Marselan are medium-bodied with fine tannins, good color, and characteristics of cherry and cassis.

Marselan was bred in 1961 by the French National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA) at their Domaine de Vassal station in Marseillan, after which the grape is named. The objective in this breeding program was to create high-yielding varieties with large berries. Despite its natural resistance to mildew and botrytis, Marselan’s small berry size meant that it was shelved at this time, and revisited in the 1990s as producers began to look to quality over quantity. Marselan was added to the French national register of grapes in 1990.

After vatting, the grapes are “bled” to 15% to concentrate the must. Extraction is carried out by several pumping over and rack-and-return operations during the first third of the fermentation process. At the end of this process, the tank is left to macerate for 3 to 4 weeks in order to obtain the desired richness and complexity on the palate. Matured on fine lees for 2 months.

This Marselan taste of fruity, lively, balsamic, small berry fruit reminiscent of blackcurrant, blueberry, and strawberry, with a lovely, mellow concentration. Enjoy this wine with game and red meat.