2017 Two Shepherds Trousseau Gris
Region: Russian River Valley < Sonoma < California
Vineyard/Cellar Stats: Dry-farmed, organic farming (practicing); grapes are partially destemmed and left 5 days on the skins in a small open top container to start fermentation with native yeast, then pressed to neutral (old) barrels to finish fermentation and age for 7 months; left on heavy lees for 6 months; bottled unfined/unfiltered with 30ppm added SO2; 13.1% ABV; 125 cases made
Winemaker: William Allen
William Allen slings software by day, but his heart is in the Rhône. He was making wine in his garage and blogging about it for years before going pro with Two Shepherds, his one-man micro-winery. He works from purchased grapes, careful about organic, and models his wines on the Rhône and other French styles he loves, making tiny lots of old world, low-intervention bottlings from cool climate sites. Like this Trousseau Gris, one of the world’s most obscure varieties -- there is just a single planting in CA, the Fanucchi Vineyard, in the foggy Russian River Valley of Sonoma. A light pinkish-gray skinned grape originally from the Jura region in France, where the grape is now essentially extinct, making the 10 acres in Sonoma the only source. The 5 days on the skins imparts a beautiful rose gold color that makes you think rosé, but this is most definitely a white, with texture and body. A Unicorn wine for sure, one that transports you to the glorious days of teen summer, before you were a responsible adult (sigh). Like rolling down the windows and feeling the fresh wind in your face. It's breezy, like Yacht Rock playing on the radio of your mom’s Cadillac Eldorado. It's like biting into a fresh peach and licking the juice as it drips on your salty hands. It’s super delicious. Grab some before she disappears, like all unicorns inevitably do.