The most highly regarded of all Savoie reds is the Mondeuse from the steep slopes of Arbin and the Trosset brothers produce the finest Arbin Mondeuse, from just 4 hectares of impeccably tended vines on the steep, imposing slopes behind their home.
Louis and Joseph Trosset took over their fathers estate in 2000 on his passing. Joseph in the vines and Louis in the cellar, which he manages with his other career, as a lecturer of plant biology at the University of Savoie. A few years ago Louis retired passing his share of the vines to a nephew; it is now all Louis and the domaine is even smaller – 2.3 hectares !
Louis farms his seven parcels by hand which is difficult as all the vines are trained low ‘en gobelet’ (bush vines). Their viticulture is not certified organic but they don’t use any chemicals and encourage soil activity, Louis thinks that the earthworms that pass two or three times through his soil each year do a great job!
In the cellar the grapes are fermented using natural yeasts ‘vendage entier’ (whole bunch) each parcel fermented separately in tank over about 10 days with daily ‘remontage’, before being pressed using an old basket press. The wines then mature, also only in enamel lined tank, until they are carefully blended and bottled.
Louis has considerable intellect and conviction; he has a sharp wit and breaks his intensity with an occasional smile. He reminds me very much of Thierry Allemand in that way, and with the same diligence produces incredible wine.
It has truly been a labour of love to be able to work with these fabulous wines. I attempted to visit Louis Trosset every time I visited France – for five years – with no luck until a few years ago. The same happened at Francois Cotat and Ganevat; you could say persistence pays off. These are rare, special bottles that in many ways serve as inspiration.
Stylistically these could be made by Gonon and Souhaut in tandem so bright and pure they are. These 2015 wines are going to be some of the best ever made from this estate from a warm, disease free vintage where grapes could be picked at optimum ripeness in an Indian summer.
Sadly, like the already retired Michael Grisard at the nearby Prieure Ste. Christophe, Louis Trosset is getting on and we may not see all that many more vintages from him. He is one of the truly great vignerons I work with and I feel very fortunate about that.