About this WINE
Thorne & Daughters
John “Thorne” Seccombe met his wife at university in Stellenbosch. Neither was studying to be a winemaker. They moved to the UK and it was there that John took his first winemaking steps, enrolling to study oenology at Plumpton College. He gained experience by working stages in Barossa, the Languedoc and California, as well as consulting for Ridgeview in the South Downs. In 2008, the couple moved back to the Cape to raise their two daughters, and in 2012 Thorne & Daughters was established.
Unusually, John chose Roussanne as the leading lady in the blend of his principal wine, Rocking Horse, and grapes were sourced from vineyards in Stellenbosch, Swartland and Franschhoek. The first vintage of the South African allocation of this wine sold out within two weeks of being launched. The wines are uncompromising in character and are on the edge of being “natural”, but retain an elegance and precision that is exemplary, and sets them firmly at the forefront of South Africa’s New Wave movement.
Roussanne is one of the most important white grape varieties in the Rhône Valley. It is a particularly pernickety grape to cultivate being a notoriously low yielder as well as being highly susceptible to rot. It is difficult to ripen, and seemingly prone to oxidation at every opportunity. Roussanne's name comes from its russet-coloured skin and it produces richly aromatic wines, often with fruit characteristics of lime and blossom.
In the northern Rhône it is typically blended with Marsanne to produce the white wines of Hermitage, Crozes-Hermitage, St-Joseph, and St-Péray. Generally Marsanne is the dominant partner and it lends colour, body and weight to the blend, as well as richly scented fruit, while Roussanne contributes bouquet, delicacy and finesse.
It is grown less extensively in the southern Rhône although it is one of the permitted varieties in Châteauneuf-du-Pape. There are plantings of Roussanne in the Languedoc and Rousillon and in the last decade the grape have been cultivated with particular success in California, where it is produced both as a single varietal and as a component of Rhône-style blends.