Where Did You Go, Trousseau

I love oddball grapes. Grapes that are not on the shelves in your supermarket. Grapes that you may have you wondering how to pronounce. Ones that come from places you don’t expect. These are the ones that still bring excitement to my wine journey. And one of those grapes is Trousseau.

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What is Trousseau?

Trousseau is a dark skinned grape variety that originated in the Jura region of France. Over the centuries, the variety made its way to Northern Spain, where it is known as Verdejo Negro and Merenzao, and to Portugal where it is known as Bastardo. You can also find Trousseau in California, where many of the plantings are small and very old. 

Wines made from Trousseau typically have a deep cherry-red color and flavors full of dark red berries and other forest fruits. They also tend to show a higher alcohol content, thanks to the prolific natural sugars of the Trousseau berry and their correspondingly high potential alcohol.

Wine additions may cause wine reactions

Where is Trousseau Grown?

The Jura region, in the mountains of eastern France, can call Trousseau its own. The variety is one of Jura’s two indigenous grapes (the other is Poulsard), a fact of which winemakers in the town of Arbois are particularly proud. However, the variety is increasingly rare in Jura’s vineyards, where it is losing ground to more popular international varieties Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

In Portugal, the grape was first used in Madeira, but is very rare today. Much of the plantings are in the Douro and Dao regions and are used in blends and in the production of port wines. 

In California, there are old-vine plantings throughout the state. These are small plantings that haven’t been ripped out and replaced yet for more profitable varieties. Trousseau has seen a resurgence with natural winemakers doing their best to emulate the styles of the Jura region. There is also a mutation of the grape here called Trousseau Gris and it may also be referred to as Grey Riesling. 

Flavors and Pairings

Trousseau’s medium-bodied palate and berry fruits are very crowd pleasing. It is a wine to pair easily with grilling fare, mushroom and root vegetable dishes, and stinky cheese like Morbier

 

Ready to Try Trousseau?

Pax Trousseau Noir

Vintage: 2019
Region: Sonoma Valley, California, United States
Viticulture: Organic
Grape varieties: Trousseau Noir

Pax Trousseau Noir has blood orange, leather, forest floor, berries, and graphite leap from this light-colored but intensely flavored wine.

Song: Cosmic Echos by Lord Echo

$54.00

2 in stock

Pax Trousseau Gris

Vintage: 2020
Region: Sonoma Valley, California, United States
Viticulture: Organic
Grape varieties: Trousseau Gris

Pax Trousseau Gris is all about delicacy and lightness, freshness and verve, approachability, and deliciousness. Stone fruit and floral notes.

Song: The Melting of the Sun by St. Vincent

$38.00

2 in stock

Tessier San Benito Trousseau

Vintage: 2019
Region: San Benito, California, United States
Viticulture: Organic
Grape varieties: Trousseau

Tessier San Benito Trousseau has notes of marionberry, strawberry, and fig. Framed with herb and earthy notes, cherry cola, and horseradish.

Song: Neighborhood Threat by Iggy Pop

$38.00

3 in stock

Domaine de L’Octavin Zerlina

Vintage: 2018
Region: Arbois, France
Viticulture: Organic and Biodynamic
Grape varieties: Pinot Noir and Trousseau

Domaine de L’Octavin Zerlina is a blend of Pinot Noir and Trousseau from Jura. Alice Bouvot makes some of my favorite wines!

Song: Genius of Love by Tom Tom Club

$69.00

2 in stock

Domaine de L’Octavin Commendatore

Vintage: 2018
Region: Arbois, France
Viticulture: Organic
Grape varieties: Trousseau

Domaine de L’Octavin Commendatore is an intense and structured Trousseau from the heart of Jura. Musky and dark. No additives or filtration.

Song: Discotheque 36 by Black Francis

$110.00

5 in stock

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