If you haven’t had a glass of trousseau gris you are not alone. If you haven’t heard of trousseau gris you are also not alone. Trousseau gris is a grape that probably originates in Alsace (France). It was once fairly widely grown in France and in California but over time the grape has fallen out of favor.
This is a shame.
This offering from Chateau Nomad , the Alemanni, is a crisp, fresh tasting white wine. It might superficially remind you of a few other wine varieties—pinot gris, gewürztraminer, pinot blanc and perhaps riesling. It has characteristics of these perhaps but isn’t really related to any of these grapes (aside from the fact that most wine grapes are distantly related). It also doesn’t really have the same taste as any of these; it isn’t as acidic as a riesling, it is fruitier than pinot gris and is wildly different from most versions of gewürztraminer.
This wine is a crisp, fresh tasting white and it is a great summer wine. While it has fruit flavors (think maybe peaches with a slight hint of some spice) it isn’t super fruity or sweet and has a nose that made me think of honey. Don’t let this make you think it is sweet, this is a dry wine. There is some complexity to the wine and a nice balance—a bit of fruit, a dash of spice, and a modicum of acidity etc. This is a wine that will please casual drinkers and wine snots. It is a nice wine to grab when you want something a bit out of the ordinary. Yet it isn’t anything strange or bizarre.
In California these days the Russian River Valley seems to be the only place where the grape is grown in any quantity. The grapes that made this wine are from there. Since this is a grape that can grow in cooler areas it would be interesting to see how it handles some of the cooler areas of the USA looking for signature grapes. It would be interesting to taste more trousseau gris.