The Tablas Creek Vineyard Spring 2018 releases are here and, as usual, they are not to be missed. They include a delicious white wine, two beautiful rosés, and two lovely red wines.
The introduction from my first article on Tablas Creek Vineyard is shown below and is followed by tasting notes on the Spring 2018 releases. A list of links to all Tablas Creek Vineyard articles is also shown at the end of this article.
Tablas Creek Vineyard consistently produces really amazing and well-priced wines that few other California wineries can match. The specialty is, of course, Rhone varietals and their wines are beautifully crafted and very food friendly. Since 1997 they have made balanced and harmonious wines year in and year out. Below is the introduction to my first article on Tablas Creek Vineyard:
Tablas Creek Vineyard is a partnership between the Perrin family, proprietors of Chateau Beaucastel in Chateauneuf du Pape, and Robert Haas, founder of Vineyard Brands, as majority partners and French and American friends as minority partners. The search for a vineyard location to grow Rhone varietals began in 1987 and in 1989 they purchased a 120 acre parcel in West Paso Robles some 12 miles from the Pacific Ocean. Here the rock and limestone soils are of the same geologic origin as at Beaucastel and the climate is also similar. The result is grapes that mature fully, yet retain crisp acidity. The vine cuttings were imported from Beaucastel to replicate the clonal selection and assure the quality and genetic source. The vine cuttings arrived in 1990 and planting began several years later. The first wine was made in 1997. Production, both in terms of quantity and number of wines produced, has been increasing steadily since then. Today the planting is complete and consists of 2/3 red varieties – Mourvèdre, Grenache Noir, Syrah, Tannat, and Counoise and 1/3 white varieties – Roussanne, Marsanne, Viognier, Picpoul Blanc, and Grenache Blanc. The centuries old Chateauneuf du Pape tradition is followed with the varieties blended to produce wines of a unique style and complexity. The concept of blending different varietals to make wines is one that I have always believed would make better wines in California. There are only a few exceptions to this belief and those would include the Burgundian varietals, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
Since its first wines were produced some 20 years ago the quality of Tablas Creek Vineyard wines has been widely acknowledged. Tablas Creek Vineyard was named the number one winery by The Daily Meal where I am on the wine nominating panel and The Underground Wineletter is a regular contributor. The Daily Meal has awarded Tablas Creek Vineyard its highest award twice: Winery of the Year 2015 and #1 Winery in America 2015 (to read the article click here ).
Tablas Creek Vineyards makes wine from their organic estate vineyard. They also mostly buy grapes from other Paso Robles Rhone specialists which are planted with cuttings from their organic estate vineyard. The latter wines are designated Patelin de Tablas. The Tablas Creek wines are available in limited quantities nationally for most of their offerings. The wines are also offered for sale directly from the winery along with special limited bottlings offered only from the winery. They can be contacted at www.tablascreek.com and also have a wine club, Tablas Creek VINsider, which offers discounts and special offerings to members.
2017 Tablas Creek Vineyard Vermentino Adelaida District Paso Robles
This is what I have had to say about Vermentino in the past: True confession – I love Vermentino! The Vermentinos from Northern Italy and Corsica and Sardinia are great as are the French Vermentinos (known as Rolle in France) from the Rhône Valley and the Côtes de Provence. And, Tablas Creek Vineyard consistently produces one of California’s best Vermentinos…. Vermentino gets my vote as one of the greatest under the radar white wines in the world.
The current release 2017 Tablas Creek Vineyard Vermentino is again a lovely wine with a balance and complexity that makes it a great complement to a wide variety of foods including chicken, seafood, pasta, and vegetables. The 2017 year marked the end of the drought and rainfall produced vigorous vine growth. This Vermentino reflects the vintage with lovely fruit and a bright crispness. There were 1430 cases produced in 2017 up from 1250 cases in 2016. Pale yellow in color the wine has a stunning perfume with grapefruit tinges, floral spice, and a faint mineral nuance. It is bright and crisp for sure, but there is also an underlying lushness. With very pure citrus tinged fruit accented by hints of melon and floral notes, the wine is beautifully balanced and finishes with a nice crispness – Outstanding Plus. $27
2017 Tablas Creek Vineyard Patelin de Tablas Rosé Paso Robles
This is a consistently great rosé in the style of the great rosés from Provence. The 2017 production was 3770 cases as compare with 3000 cases in 2016. Grenache represents 64% of the blend with Mouvèdre 29%, Syrah 5%, and Counoise 2%. The grapes come from eight top Rhône vineyards located in seven Paso Robles appellations. With a very pale amber gold color showing a golden hue the wine has a lovely perfume of peach, honeysuckle, and strawberry with a tinge of apricot. Bright and crisp with subtle nuances of peach, melon, strawberry, and a touch of citrus this is a beautifully rendered and very pure rosé that is irresistibly delicious – Outstanding Plus. $25
2017 Tablas Creek Vineyard Dianthus Adelaida District Paso Robles
This rosé is named for a type of flower with a pink color that is known as “pinks”. The 2017 Dianthus Rosé is made from 47% Mouvèdre, 39% Grenache, and 12% Counoise taken from the oldest section of vines propagated from cuttings from Château de Beaucastel. The 2017 production was 1500 cases up from the 900 cases produced in 2016. Always packed with fruit, this 2017 Dianthus seems even more lush, elegant, and complex this year. Very light reddish pink in color with a faint golden hue and golden edge the wine has a gorgeous floral perfume with a kiss of spice and underlying hints of raspberry, strawberry, and watermelon. Very elegant and loaded with fruit including plum, raspberry, strawberry, and cranberry with a floral citrus tinged finish, this is an absolutely stunning rosé. Last year I said that the 2016 Tablas Creek Vineyard Patelin de Tablas Rosé represented the pinnacle in domestic rosé. Now I can make it twin peaks by making the same statement about this 2017 Tablas Creek Vineyard Dianthus Rosé. Don’t miss it! Extraordinary. $30
2016 Tablas Creek Vineyard Patelin de Tablas Paso Robles
The 2016 vintage, while still a drought year, had more rainfall than the previous four years. The 2016 production was 3090 cases and the wine is made from 52% Syrah, 31% Grenache, 11% Counoise, and 6% Mouvèdre sourced from several top Rhône vineyards located in four different regions in Paso Robles. This Patelin de Tablas has a deep color and a lovely plum and blackberry perfume with a faint exotic tinge. On the palate it has lovely black fruit flavors with very faint cedar and spice tinges and is balanced and lush with a nice underlying structure and a bright finish. A wine with complexity and great early appeal this wine is also very attractively priced – Outstanding. $25 Best Buy
2016 Tablas Creek Vineyard Côtes de Tablas Adelaida District Paso Robles
There were 2050 cases of this wine produced in 2016 and it is composed of 55% Grenache, 25% Syrah, 13% Mouvèdre, and 7% Counoise. The grapes were grown on the certified organic estate vineyard. With a very nice color the wine has lovely floral perfume with tinges of spice faint cherry and raspberry nuances. It is a lovely fruit driven wine with a myriad of red fruit flavors with tinges of spice and herbs and a bright underlying crispness. With great early appeal, the wine is delicious now but should soften and evolve over many years into the future – Outstanding/Outstanding Plus. $35
LINKS TO EARLIER TABLAS CREEK VINEYARD ARTICLES
TABLAS CREEK VINEYARD NEW RELEASES  – April 2016
TABLAS CREEK VINEYARD  – August 2014