2017 Pax, Trousseau Gris, Fannuchi Wood Road Vineyard, Sonoma County.
Trousseau Gris, a natural mutation from the red Trousseau grape, most commonly found in the Jura region of France, though more interesting is that it is was once called “Gray Riesling” and was once widely planted in California, but sadly that declined sharply in the 1980s until it was almost completely wiped out by the 1990s. Trousseau Gris can still be found inter-planted in a few old vine Zinfandel vineyards, and Pax’s Trousseau Gris comes from the only standing block in California, the ten acre parcel of the Fannuchi Wood Road Vineyard in the Russian River Valley. These days Trousseau Gris is mostly found in the Jura, Alsace, Lorraine and sometimes in the Champagne wine region, as well as tiny plantings in eastern Europe like Hungary, it makes for a bright and slightly phenolic white, Pax’s looks like it has a touch of skin contact or was gently whole cluster pressed? With a golden hue and pink/orange edges that gives a nice balancing bite to this wonderful fresh wine. Pax Mahle tends to ferment his Trousseau Gris in cement vat with helps with textural feel and he raises it in well seasoned French cask for a period of about 4 months to settle it, making for a dry and focused wine that delivers layers of citrus, spring blossoms, savory notes and shows lemon/lime, kumquat, a touch of orange peel, bitter herbs, wet stone and lingering unripe peach and green melon. Refreshing, briskly crisp, mineral infused and vibrant at under 12% natural alcohol, Pax’s Trousseau Gris has a nice tension and plays well with lighter cuisine, especially good with shell fish, I can imagine clams, mussels and oysters with this fun and unique wine, drink now. Pax, known for his world class Syrah and Rhone style wines, also makes a great set of alternative wines, some that were once under his Wind Gap label, like this Trousseau Gris, but be sure to check out his awesome Chenin Blanc, Carignane, Gamay Noir, Trousseau Noir and his Valdiguie as well!
($26 Est.) 90 Points, grapelive

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