Trousseau and Poulsard are both red grape varieties indigenous to the Jura region of eastern France. Poulsard was first mentioned in text in the late 14th century but Trousseau wasn’t mentioned until the early 18th century. Trousseau has also gone by other names in Spain and Portugal such as Merenzao, Verdejo Negro and Bastardo. The grapes can be used in the production of varietal wines or can be used in blends. They are commonly blended together and also with Pinot Noir. Poulsard can also be used to produce rosé and sparkling wines. The Jura region is located just to the east of northern Burgundy and south of Alsace. This area is a cooler climate that doesn’t have the climactic capability to ripen tannic wine grapes. Jura is prone to spring frosts as well. Trousseau and Poulsard are both early budding grape varieties. This can be problematic, because if they bud early and there is a later frost, it can damage the buds. This can greatly decrease the yields at harvest. In April 2021, Jura was hit with a warm anticyclone. This warmed the soil sufficiently to trigger the vines to bud. It was then followed by polar anticyclone that carried snow and frost. Typically, when frosts hit, the cold air rests in valleys where air is stagnant. However, in April 2021, vineyards were widely affected. The damage was worst in 2021, but frosts also hit the region in 2017 and 2019. Hoping this bi-annual trend halts this year.
This week, I chose a bottle of 2020 Domaine Pêcheur Cuvée de Trois Cépages from Jura AOC. The wine was a pale ruby color. When I poured it, I was a bit surprised at how aromatic it was. Notes of dried rose petals, slightly under ripe cranberries, strawberries, pie cherries and pomegranate were quite noticeable without effort. The wine was dry with significant levels of acid that tightened my jaw for a bit. The tannins in this light bodied wine were refreshing, leaving no residual grit on my teeth. The palate consisted of the perfumed red fruits and were met with a stony minerality. This wine was delicate and delightful. It would pair nicely with smoked chicken or pork, hard cheeses, or a pork tenderloin with mushroom cream sauce.