If you can't tell by our fancy vintner parlance, this one variety from this one vineyard is some of the most highly-coveted, legendary shit in winemaking. It's like viticultural vibranium.
Trousseau Gris itself is a mutant. A white, meaty variant of Trousseau Noir that made its way stateside from France to California where it thrives in hot, dry conditions. Though once prevalent throughout the golden state, plantings sharply declined in the 1980s, and today, only one 10-acre block persists. Can you guess where?
Just off of the old Wood Road in the Russian River Valley town of Fulton is the Fanucchi-Wood Road Vineyard. Planted in 1981 by Peter Fanucchi and his father Arcangelo, this vineyard is home to old-vine Zinfandel and the last Trousseau Gris left in the United States. But it's well-tended to. Planted in sandy loam soil and organically farmed, these precious vines exist not only because they are important to the world of viticulture, but because they are essential to the Fanucchi legacy.
Peter's role as a grape grower started in childhood, working alongside his father Arcangelo who had long dreamt of farming grapes and had purchased an old Italian field blend vineyard in the early 1970s. After discovering some existing plantings of Trousseau Gris thriving in their vineyard, they together decided to plant a small block in 1981. But just three years later, before a single harvest, Arcangelo suddenly and tragically passed, leaving a 21-year-old Peter to carry on their shared legacy.
We were fortunate to have access to this fruit in 2019 for our Run Baby Run wine but had been warned that grape yields for 2020 were very limited. When talking about Trousseau Gris, we'll take whatever we can get, and thankfully Peter trusts us with his fruit. Our small pick happened under the moonlight on August 17th and Peter spent the night educating and entertaining us about his life and experience as a grape grower. The pick went quickly, but we hung out for hours, and our entire allotment fit in the bed of a pick-up truck.
Once back at the winemaking facility, our Trousseau Gris was foot-stomped whole-cluster before moving to our cocciopesto cask for 10 days. During this time of skin fermentation, the juice extracts color, aromas, and texture, creating an "orange wine" that in this case is about as orange in hue as it gets. We've been fucking around with these cocciopesto vessels for a few years. The terracotta-like material is porous and oxygenates the wine without imparting any specific characteristics. It's so cool. Due to the small size of our lot, we ran the fruit through a manual basket press and then aged it in 60% in natural French oak and the rest in stainless steel. If this process sounds more complex and intensive than most wines, it's because we're willing to do anything necessary to fulfill the rightful destiny of this Trousseau Gris.
So let's get explicit.
The color on this thing is fucking gorgeous falling somewhere on the spectrum between orange soda and blood orange. Exotic aromas of orange rind, grapefruit, and Rosewater ooze out of the glass. On the palate, we pick up these delicious flavors of blood orange, cranberry, tea leaves, and lychee with this perfect acidity that leaves your mouth watering.
An ode to keeping it explicit and rare (shout out to Tipper Gore),
Explicit Content is available on Friday, July 30th at 10 AM PT.
We only squeezed out 28 cases of this and it will go fast so don't f*** around.