2020 Arnot-Roberts Luchsinger Vineyard Trousseau11413
REGION: Sonoma County, California, USA
WINEMAKER: Duncan Arnot Meyers & Nathan Lee Roberts
"Bernie Luchsinger emigrated to the United States in the mid 1960s from Chile and planted his vineyard in Kelseyville thirty years later. Now, Bernie along with his daughter Pilar are growing some of the most interesting grape varieties that we work with: both the Trousseau, and the Touriga Nacional for our rosé. The vineyard is planted at 1400’ on volcanic alluvium soils laid over ancient riverbed cobblestones in the Big Valley area west of Clear Lake, the second largest natural body of water in California after Lake Tahoe. These varieties both thrive in the long, warm days and cool nights of the Big Valley, and retain their acidity and personality well in this arid environment. We are lucky to have pioneers like the Luchsingers who were willing to take a risk with relatively unknown varieties in an effort to find what was best for their land, and in turn, gave us the opportunity to start something fresh. We feel fortunate for the gorgeous fruit cultivated each year under the watchful eyes of the Luchsinger family."
Since foundation 2001, Arnot-Roberts has been one of the most progressive and revolutionary producers on the California landscape. Initially their focus was just on making great Californian wines, but when the cool 2005 vintage gave them wines in a more austere, high acid style than the region was used to, Nathan and Duncan reacted completely differently to practically everyone else in California – they loved them and decided to pursue lower ripeness levels and higher acidity in all of their wines henceforth.
Their focus shifted to the best cool climate sites they could find, most of which were struggling to sell their fruit due to the obsession with high sugar levels that was pervasive at the time. Vineyards like Clary Ranch, Fellom Ranch, Luchsinger and Griffin’s Lair are lauded today, but not long ago it was only Nathan and Duncan that wanted their fruit.
Winemaking at Arnot-Roberts borrows from both the old world and new. While each wine gets its own regime, the general technique is decidedly low-tech, and includes indigenous fermentations, little or no new wood, and whole-cluster inclusion for the red wines. Intervention is minimal - just a conscientious addition of SO2 prior to bottling.