Jura is a department of eastern France named after the Jura Mountains, a sub-alpine mountain range at the north of the Western alps, following the France-Switzerland border and separating the Rhine and Rhône basins. Thus, the wine styles of Jura are influenced by both Burgundy and Switzerland. Yet the geological structure of the mountain range consists, which consists of maritime influence from three different eras (the early, middle, and late Jurassic eras), certainly creates unique characteristics in the wines produced.

While the Trousseau grape is native to eastern France, it’s certainly not what the region is known for.

Indeed the red wine grape, also known as Bastardo is largely planted in Porgugal, where it’s predominantly used in port wine. However, there are a few producers, both here in the States and in Europe who continue (or have revived?) Trousseau as a dry red wine.

I present to you Jean-Luc Mouillard Cotes du Jura 2015 Trousseau…

Flavor Profile: Open the bottle of the Jean-Luc Mouillard Cotes du Jura 2015 Trousseau and breathe in the funk of the ocean early in the morning: a wet, dank, slightly muddy, slightly vegetative scent.

On the pour the Trousseau is a soft see-through rouge, settling into the glass with such a light red hue, if it were any lighter, you may just think it was a rosé. Tilt the glass, look closely, and notice a burnt orange hue lining the outermost perimeter.

Initial aromas are of black cherries, boysenberries, humid funk, black pepper, and a gothic floral scent lining the background. Swirl and awaken a rare meat umami, a strong note of acidity mixed with berries — the perfect balance between sweet and savory.

The palate of the Jean-Luc Mouillard Cotes du Jura 2015 Trousseau is soft and smooth at first, then a subtle texture and acidity lends itself toward a spice-filled sensation of a finish. This Trousseau is a solid medium body, an amplifying acidity, and a good dose of tannins that just touch the teeth with a bit of texture on the finish.

Dominant flavors are of black cherry, currants, black pepper, a compacted sand minerality, a grilled meat umami — complete with an unctuous oiliness.

Food Pairing: I paired the Jean-Luc Mouillard Cotes du Jura 2015 Trousseau with a crispy skin duck breast with my favorite rice pilaf and topped with my orange glaze. Loved this pairing. The dock’s natural oils and fats played nicely with the texture of the wine, almost completely smoothing it out. Meanwhile, the onion and carrot in the pilaf brought out the sweetness of the fruits in the wine as well as the smokey elements, and perfectly highlighted that spice-filled kick at the end.

Recipes are linked, my friends. I highly suggest trying this pairing.

More Info: I purchased the Jean-Luc Mouillard Cotes du Jura 2014 Trousseau at Vintage Wine Merchant in San Jose, California ($22).

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