A while back I went to a tasting with a SQN marsannne/rousanne/viognier blend. 

Wine wasn't showing, awkward flavors on the palette. Too bright here, too dense there.

One guy at our table thought it might be in a "dumb phase". It tasted weird, just like the last one I drank 2 yrs before (bought 3). This was my first experience with the vaunted/hyped SQN brand.

Is SQN overhyped and not as good as they say? Manfred's reds better than his whites? Is "dumb phase" a bunch of BS?

3 questions in one, sorry!





Original Post

I think there is such a thing as “dumb phase”, but it all depends on the track record of the wine and sometimes your own tastes.  

I have heard of rousanne and marsanne wines go through a dumb phase but have only limited experience where a wine has emerged out of it.  It was a 99 Rostaing that a forumite brought to an offline a couple of years ago, and it was fantastic.

SQN is a different beast though.  You’ll have to read some tasting notes of their older bottlings and see if there is a pattern of the wine tasting great when it was young, then a WTF period followed by greatness.


Not a huge fan of Manfred’s wines, generally. But I do find the whites often more pleasing than the reds. Marsanne and Roussanne can *definitely* go through dumb phases and often do. But they don’t always.  Eg. Beaucastel Roussanne V.V. Is notorious for shutting down hard after release and I’ve been on the unfortunate end of this at least 3 times.  Beacastel CdP Blanc, which is also awesome and still Roussanne-dominant, though a blend, seems never to shut down but isn’t nearly as long lived. I’ve never really heard of it happening outside the Rhone, but I guess it is easily possible 

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