Combe Trousseau 2022
Pete Stolpman and Rajat Parr’s Esoteric Partnership “Combe” translates to a small sheltered valley within a Burgundian vineyard.
When Rajat Parr began making Chardonnay alongside Stolpman in the Lompoc Wine Ghetto back in 2010, he immediately campaigned to plant Trousseau on Stolpman’s Ballard Canyon Limestone soils. Vignerons in Jura seek out Limestone for their Trousseau plantings, and Rajat theorized that Trousseau, a varietal that often has difficulty achieving ripeness, would flourish in the sunny, arid Ballard Canyon wind tunnel.
2014 marked the first vintage of Combe Trousseau and Combe Troussea Pet’Nat. In 2017 we made our first Vin Gris of Trousseau from pink clusters that never achieved full verasion. Trousseau now accounts for 3.5 acres at Stolpman, and the Combe line has also expanded to include Chenin Blanc. In 2020, one small half acre block of Mondeuse came online to naturally acidify both the Pet’Nat and Vin Gris of Trousseau. The high-acid Mondeuse allows us to leave the Trousseau hanging about a week longer for further flesh on the Pet’Nat’s palate.
The latest varietal to be planted for Combe, Savagnin, will make its debut in 2023.
Cold and windy conditions in the spring, combined with a second consecutive year of drought, led to a small crop with bursting flavor concentration. We forecasted a late harvest until a Labor Day heat wave sped ripening up across the board. We harvested all of our Trousseau blocks prior to the heatwave to ensure acid retention, which is always a concern for the Trousseau varietal.
Intense, attractive red fruit and rose petal above a soulful mélange of dark, dense Herbs de Provence, clove, eucalyptus, and tea. In the mouth, the red profile further develops into a torch of flickering reds -raspberry, currant, and dark cherry – followed by a fine crack of white pepper. Liveliness carries the day, as in, the 2022 is living its best life to the max. Under all of the energy lies a concentrated girth and thickness on the palate and even a touch of liqueur and cherry pie filling.
The most attractive, ripest Trousseau of the 9 vintages produced from the vineyard, instead of solely riding the rhubarb train, the 2022 displays a yin and yang of ripe yum and crunchy zest. Imagine a perfected adult red sour candy and enjoy!