Please The Palate Wine of the Week: Two Shepherds Mouton Gris 2017, Russian River Valley

I received a shipment of new releases from Two Shepherds wines. I was excited to see the 2019 releases of Vermentino, Pinot Gris Ramato, Rose of Carignan and Wiley Carbonic Carignan as well as the 2016 Cinsault, all wines that I have had the pleasure to taste past vintages. But, I was intrigued by a wine that I had never seen before, the 2017 Mouton Gris. I opened it up this week and sip after sip, I could not stop. I was enjoying the wine so much I have to declare that it is obviously the Please The Palate Wine of the Week.

Two Shepherds focuses on uncommon Rhône varieties and produces wines that are fermented naturally with native yeasts, aged on the lees in neutral barrels, with minimal sulfur and minimal racking. Owner and winemaker William Allen is known for making a lot of small lots of each vintage. His small lots include a few skin-fermented wines, including Pinot Gris and Trousseau Gris.

But, in 2017, a happy mistake was made. In 2017, Two Shepherds produced their first release of Pinot Gris Ramato, a wine that is destemmed and left on the skins to start a native yeast fermentation, then after 5 days pressed to finish fermentation and aged in neutral French barrels. They bottled 50 cases of the wine and thought they were finished. But, a few months later, they went to bottle the Trousseau Gris, an obscure grey skinned grape that is originally from Jura that they source from the only planting in California, a 40 year old vineyard in Russian River. And what did they find? Some Pinot Gris still in barrel. Instead of bottling the remaining Pinot Gris on its own, they decided to try blending it with Trousseau Gris to see what would happen. They liked it so much, they bottled 22 cases and named is Mouton Gris, or Grey Sheep.

The 2017 Mouton Gris is a beautiful bright peachy orange color with golden flecks. The fresh wine is very aromatic with a vibrant nose of apple, pear grapefruit and orange peel, as well as savory notes. On the palate, the wine has a sexy mouthfeel with soft tannins that coat the mouth followed by a long mouthwatering finish.


Two Shepherds 2017 Mouton Gris retails for $30. But there were only 22 cases of this wine made and may be the only time it is made. So, order yours today!

If you want to try other skin fermented wines, such as the Pinot Gris, Trousseau Gris or Grenache Gris, from Two Shepherds, they are offering a Skin Contact Fun Bundle. Buy 3 of skin contact wines and get 10% off. In addition, if you order 6+ bottles from Two Shepherds, they are offering free shipping in California and $20 flat rate for the rest of the US through the end of May.