Trousseau is French for Life Changing Wine

Wine geeks are obsessed with the promise of finding the next big thing. They are always after the next big region to explode on the market or the next big grape variety that no one has heard of or can pronounce. This fanciful enthusiasm can quickly turn into what may appear as wine snobbery as many wine geeks will look down on others who aren’t as in tune with the latest trend.

Spending a few minutes flipping through search results shows that the Jura region and a few of its grape varieties have been called the next big thing for at least 5 years. Ironically, the Jura region has been making wines for a very long time and they obtained their official appellation status in 1936. Hardly an up and coming area.

What the Jura region, nestled between Burgundy and Switzerland, does provide is a variety of overlooked grapes and styles. These include savagnin, ploussard, macvins, vin jaune, and the life changing trousseau.

Trousseau is a wonderful red wine with almost funk forward qualities that are easy drinking and downright enjoyable. The popularity of this grape has been spreading and the wines below include trousseau examples from Jura, California, and Oregon.

Great Wines

Family owned. Biodynamic. Limited production. These qualities make a wine more special and Benedicte and Stephane Tissot completely understand this. In fact, they see their efforts on their 35 hectares of vines as a way to combat high volume factory wine. They have 15 employees on this biodiverse and pesticide free property.

Stephane uses wild yeasts for fermentation which gives their wine a close link to the region – terroir. Some have called Tissot wines unicorn wines and I do understand why. Their trousseau is outstanding in all ways.

This wine is a beautiful deep purple out of the glass. The wine aromas are clearly a funky strawberry with bright red cherries mixed in. The youthful palate is lower in acidity with muted tannins. The bursting taste of red fruit such as strawberries and orange marmalade are so outstanding.

The wine may have a short finish but provides for a long memory. This begs to be drunk with younger cheeses and grilled poultry.

French cheese, Grilled poultry, Pondering the world

Stolpman Vineyards just does things differently. Founded over 20 years ago by Tom Stolpman, the vineyards sit on a unique piece of limestone close to the Pacific Ocean in the Ballard Canyon AVA. This winery is a masterclass in how to use the land to your advantage. From the soil, the wind, the rain patterns, and unique sunlight, the terroir of the site is not a marketing tool – it is a true partner in the farming of the grapes.

Their wine portfolio includes both serious estate wines and fun and vibrant fresh wines. The Combe series verges on the fun side and highlights some unique grapes like trousseau.

This is a bright pale purple in the glass. The aromas are strongly oriented toward strawberry jam and violet perfume. The palate is higher in acidity and tannins as well as a surprisingly effervescent quality appears when first opened.

There were tastes of strawberry compote, and bright raspberries. This wine deserves to be treated to a day on the deck with your best crowd of friends.

Outdoor parties, Funky cheese

Eyrie is a special place with some excellent Pinot noir.  Lucky for us, the climate of Willamette Valley in Oregon is similar enough to the Jura that trousseau can be produced.

Eyrie planted trousseau in 2012, the grapes are organic and the wine is fermented with wild yeast. Like the other producers, the Eyrie team wants the wine to have a true sense of terroir and expression of the land.

Pouring a pale purple, almost pink in the glass the aromas were more intense than anticipated. Smells of raspberries, strawberry yogurt, rhubarb, and mint.

The palate was pleasing with pops of underripe strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, and rhubarb pie. Acidity was low and tannins were almost non-existent. This drinks more like a white wine and is very refreshing.

Any meal, By itself

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