Appears in
Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

  • About

Trousseau, well-connected and well-travelled red wine grape indigenous to the jura, where it makes distinctively perfumed, powerful wines that age well and are much more deeply coloured than poulsard provided yields are controlled. Since early-21st-century research pinpointed the best (warmer) vineyard sites for the variety, plantings had increased: 177 ha/437 acres by 2011. It buds early and may be affected by spring frosts, and it is an irregular yielder. In the mid 19th century, the early French ampelographer Comte A. Odart maintained that Trousseau is the same as Portugal’s bastardo, as dna profiling has confirmed. Under the names Bastardo, Maturana Tinta, Merenzao, and Verdejo Negro, it has been grown in Iberia for at least two centuries, although its journey from eastern France remains a mystery. DNA parentage analysis strongly suggests that the variety is a sibling of both chenin blanc and sauvignon blanc, and probably has a parent-offspring relationship with that other Jura variety savagnin. Grapes called Bastardo are grown in Oregon, Crimea, and Moldova.