The source for our Trousseau, the Luchsinger vineyard in the Big Valley appellation in Lake County, was hit with a rare devastating black frost in late October of 2020, which stunted and killed dormant buds needed for the next year’s growth. Due to the much lower crop yields combined with ongoing drought conditions, the 2021 Trousseau was delicious but very pale and low in tannin; both variables needed for a complete wine. During our post-harvest barrel tasting, we decided to bolster the Trousseau by blending in 20% Pinot Noir from our newest site, Fox Creek in the hills above the Carmel Valley. Both varieties were fermented with whole clusters before being blended together and aged in neutral French oak barrels. We are delighted with the resulting wine which positively bursts with bright ruby color, saturated red fruit and exotic spice. – AR
A perennial favorite, this wine seems to form a seamless connection between Arnot-Roberts’ new world approach and the old world terroirs and styles that inform their work year in and year out. The deft touch used to vinify this temperamental varietal results in an expression of candied new world style fruit wrapped up in a package that expresses subtle nuances and complexity rarely encountered in young California wine. Light-bodied, but gracefully perfumed, it seems to match whatever food you’d like to throw at it with surprising dexterity.
Grapes for this wine come predominantly from Luchsinger vineyard (96%) in Lake County with the balance coming from Bartolomei Vineyard in the Green Valley sector of Russian River.
Clone/Selection: Trousseau: Clone 8
Soils: Cole series; Alluvial fine sandy loam
Vine Density: 6?x8?
Bernie Luchsinger emigrated to the United States in the mid 1960s from Chile and planted his vineyard in Kelseyville thirty years later. Now, Bernie along with his daughter Pilar are growing some of the most interesting grape varieties that we work with: both the Trousseau, and the Touriga Nacional for our rosé. The vineyard is planted at 1400? on volcanic alluvium soils laid over ancient riverbed cobblestones in the Big Valley area west of Clear Lake, the second largest natural body of water in California after Lake Tahoe. These varieties both thrive in the long, warm days and cool nights of the Big Valley, and retain their acidity and personality well in this arid environment. We are lucky to have pioneers like the Luchsingers who were willing to take a risk with relatively unknown varieties in an effort to find what was best for their land.
Soils: Blucher Series Sandy loam
Vine Density: 6?x8?
Planted: Originally Planted: Grafted 2010
The Bartolomei Vineyard is located in a secluded valley in the Green Valley sub-appellation of the Russian River Valley. The site is surrounded by mature coniferous timber and is planted predominantly to Pinot Noir; but tucked away from sight in the ?deep end? of the vineyard is our section. Based on a mutual love for Trousseau, Duncan & Nathan were able to convince the vineyard owners in 2010 to graft over about 300 vines- about enough for a barrel or two. This cool site has very fine sandy goldridge soil and delivers the smallest, most concentrated Trousseau berries imaginable.
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