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.
We built Tank as a bastion for dreamers and those looking to defy conventions. A winery that celebrates misfits, bootleggers, and daredevils. This summer, tune in as we celebrate the fellow dreamers of our world with our guest blog series.
Tell us a little bit about yourself. Who are you?
I’m a San Francisco native who escaped to New York for a decade and is slowly dipping her toe back into California by way of Los Angeles.
Last year I launched a website called The Regular –– a culinary source for the bon vivant. On the site, you can find interviews about food with an eclectic lineup of people in every industry, city restaurant guides written by professional chefs, kitchenwares to shop and essays from writers that I love. When I’m not heads-down on the website, I consult for other digital brands. (And when I’m not working, I’m usually planning my next meal.)
What’s your favorite Tank wine right now and why?
The Self-Love red wine is incredibly drinkable with any meal. It has lovely cherry and peppery notes without drowning out the flavors of whatever dinner you’re devouring. If you’re looking for a versatile bottle –– maybe if you’re bringing something to a friend’s house and you don’t know what they’re making –– this bottle will not only pair well but will please all types of pallets. Not only that, you help raise money for the National Alliance of Mental Illness and Health with every bottle you purchase.
What's your dream?
I like to live vicariously through the general ethos of The Regular –– where it seems everyone lives in Paris, shops at local markets, eats fresh pasta every night, summers on the Amalfi coast and listens to 60s crooners on the radio. One day I’ll make this daydream my reality.
If you could see anyone in concert right now, who would it be?
I don’t think this is a current option, but I love listening to the live recordings of The Rat Pack in Las Vegas. They just seem to be having so much fun on stage –– and I love the idea of those old-timey performances where you get a proper dinner and a show. I always wonder why that setup went out of style.
What’s your favorite spot in California?
I grew up on Russian Hill in San Francisco, so I’m biased. One of my favorite spots in the city is the Ferry Building –– I love an oyster from Hog Island, the to-go station for spring rolls at Out the Door and a long lunch at Boulettes Larder overlooking The Bay.
Favorite type of food to pair with wine?
My favorite wine activity (wine-tivity?) is probably cooking –– stick me in a kitchen with friends, a bottle of wine, a playlist and a charcuterie plate and I’m a happy camper –– so I think I’d have to say my favorite food to pair with wine would probably be small bites that I can pick at –– dolmas, prosciutto, Marcona almonds, Raincoast crackers, Majestic hummus, Castelvetrano olives ... I love a Mediterranean spread.
Dream dinner or wine tasting guest?
Probably Fran Lebowitz or Roxane Gay … a sassy say-what-you-mean type of woman is who I aspire to be and always who I’m drawn to. Elaine Stritch also would have been a wonderful dinner party guest in her day.
Preferred wine type (red, white or rose or all)? Elaborate!
I don’t discriminate, but if I had to choose … I love a big red with dinner and would choose a brut rose or a pet nat during the day.
Create a pairing for one of our wines (food, music, movie, etc.)
Somewhere Out On That Horizon –– with Sam Cooke on the record player and a bolognese on the table.
Nestled at the foothills of Mt. St. Helena in one of the world's most desirable regions, Roman Spa Hot Springs Resort welcomes you to Calistoga, CA. The downtown hotel and spa boast charming Tuscan-style accommodations set amid flowering Mediterranean gardens, private patios, splashing fountains, and a staff dedicated to your relaxation and pleasure.
We explored the resort with Kathy Quast, who runs the resort with her husband, Michael. Michael's parents, Max and Gena Quast purchased what was then Piner’s Hot Springs in 1975, renovated the buildings into a resort, and changed the name to Roman Spa Hot Springs.
Delight in a three-thousand-year-old tradition, relax the mind and body in the world-renowned geothermal mineral hot springs pools. Enhance your stay with a mud bath ritual or a spa treatment from Baths at Roman Spa and embrace the Calistoga state of mind.
The gardens at the Roman Spa Hot Springs & Resort are unlike anything else. Towering and flowering purple artichokes are surrounded by bees pollinating lavender and hibiscus flowers bigger than your hand! We can't get over how stunnin' our new Barbera and Marsanne Pét-Nat, Pleasure Trip, looks in this patch of pretty things. 🌸
Book a stay at the Roman Spa Hot Springs & Resort
1300 Washington St, Calistoga, CA 94515
Spa: 800-404-4772 Local Phone: 707-942-4441 Reservations: +1-800-914-8957