2005 Zaca Mesa Roussanne, Santa Ynez Valley ($25)
The little-known roussanne white-wine grape is best known as one of the two main varieties used in making the white wines of Hermitage in France's Rhone Valley. The grape produces big white wines, full of flavor and with body that makes most chardonnays seem skinny, both there and in California. This well-made example is quite faithful to the Rhone style, with mouth-filling flavors of peach, pear, tropical fruit and spices such as clove and nutmeg. It should be served cool, not deeply chilled, and it improves in the glass. Serve with roasted chicken, salmon in cream sauce.