REBEL GRAPE SOCIETY

JULY 2021

TROUSSEAU: TÊTE À TÊTE

 

Who would have thought that little old Trousseau would be the unassuming grape to make big waves in 21st century California? Our hero hails from the Jura, a rural region in the foothills of the Alps, east of Burgundy on the Swiss border, and takes its name from the French for “dowry” – maybe because it was traded as such, maybe because it produces a bountiful crop in its homeland in the hills, maybe because it’s a wine for celebrating.  

 

Trousseau has also been grown in Spain and Portugal for at least 200 years under a few names: Bastardo (where’s the love?), Merenzao, and Verdejo Negro. It is vigorous and needs sunny, well-exposed sites to mature and to avoid botrytis in its tight clusters, and it prefers gravel and clay soils. So, in short, a hearty provider who loves plenty of California sun and is not too picky about its soil. Get this Rebel in the ground!

 

Trousseau walks a tightrope between the pale and fruity, and the herbal and bitter-edged. And while it may stump the Big-Cab crowd, it has found endless adoration in the last decade from the new-wave drinkers who are seeking wines that are food-friendly, perfumed, low-alcohol, chillable, and yes, exotic. 

 

These days Trousseau is actually enjoying a moment of fame in California, despite the fact that it remains an obscure blip in the vastness of vines, with only a dozen or so acres in the whole wide state. Some of the first plantings here go all the way back to the 1890s in the Sierra foothills, and yet over the past century “Bastardo” was mostly anonymous in field blends with other Portuguese varieties.  It should be noted that it is distinct from its genetic mutation, Trousseau Gris, a nearly extinct pink grape (inaccurately also called Grey Riesling) of which there are only a few last vines in California. 

 

Somms across the country are now fervently seeking out this pale beauty and casting a spotlight on Trousseau’s abilities in the New World. What better way to get to know this rebel than to go head to head with three of its Cali champions.  

 

Kevin Wardell, July, 2021



DOWNLOAD PDF OF TASTING NOTES HERE

ROOTDOWN

TROUSSEAU
St. Amant Vineyard
Amador, California 2019

ARNOT-ROBERTS

TROUSSEAU
North Coast, California 2019

FORLORN HOPE
‘ODB’

TROUSSEAU
Rorick Heritage Vineyard
Calaveras, California 2019
WINE SMARTS.

WINE SMARTS.

And 10% off your next purchase. Pay no attention to the frog.

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