by Treve Ring | So – ok – hear me out here. I’m generally not one to drink $50 wines from California, nor recommend you rush out and stock your cart up either. That said, this is no regular Cali wine, and one that adventuresome wine drinkers should add to their tasting repertoire.
Trousseau Noir is the indigenous grapes of France’s Savoie. The Gris is a rare colour mutation, one of those beauty grape surprises. Gris benefits at altitude, and this transplant has found a happy home in a breezy site in the Russian River Valley, thriving from the proximity to the cool Pacific. Rarely seen vinified on its own, and often just found in field blends, this 10-acre plot of 32-year- old vines is said to be the sole varietal block left.
Foot trodden before a four-month fermentation stint in concrete and a rest in stainless and neutral oak, this linear wine is not about fruit and ripeness. It is about verve and texture. Heady earthy herbaceousness, white grapefruit pith, gentle nuttiness, fine earthy lees and stony spices are textured with a firm pear skin grip.
The vibrant, lively wine is incidentally white; a white skinned grape made like it was a red wine with an alluring depth of salty herbal fruit and bitter pear through to the finish. I like it at cellar temperature, and even more so a few hours after opening. Authentic, detailed and characterful – a wabi-sabi wine that just works.
Wind Gap Trousseau Gris | Russian River Valley, California | $50 | www.windgapwines.com