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Distinctive New Wines

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TABLAS CREEK VINEYARD

John Tilson • 10/26/21        Print This Post Print This PostComment Bookmark and Share

Background
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 2/3s red varieties – Mouvedre, 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.
Tablas Creek Vineyard is dedicated to pursuing its goal of balanced, harmonious wines…. But, one thing is consistent through all the recent vintages. The wines have lovely fruit and are harmonious and balanced. Some require aging, others are meant to be consumed young. This is a very good trend and is as it should be given the nature of the wines.

Given the knowledge, experience, and dedication of the founders of Tablas Creek as I just described, it should be no surprise that the Rhone varietals and blends made by Tablas Creek Vineyard in Paso Robles are consistently some of the very best wines made in California and they represent great value as well. They are always beautifully balanced and offer a true impression of the varietal and the terroir. The alcohols are mostly in the 13% range which preserves the purity and balance of the fruit. I have been tasting and drinking these wines for many years now and they never fail to deliver great satisfaction and enjoyment. Below are my notes on the stunning new releases that you do not want to miss.

 

2020 Tablas Creek Vineyard Grenache Blanc Adelaida District Paso Robles
Wow! This is a really delicious white wine and is a real value. Light yellow in color with a golden hue it has a great perfume redolent with floral, green apple, and citrus nuanaces. On the palate it is  very flavorful and complex with with green apple and floral citrus undertones and a subtle minerality. This follows through on a long lingering finish. You don’t know Grenache Blanc? Then you do not know what you are missing. So why not start at the top? – Extraordinary.  $30

2020 Tablas Creek Vineyard Patelin de Tablas Blanc Adelaida District Paso Robles
This yet another stunning white wine and a great bargain to boot. This wine is a win/win! Made with 48% Grenache Blanc, 21% Viognier, 19% Rousanne, 15% Marsanne, and 5% Clairette Blanche it has a lovely perfume with hints of honeysuckle and citrus accented by a faint exotic tinge. The same profile follows though on the palate with lovely floral citrus tinged fruit showing hints of honeysuckle, rendered in s supple lushness and a bright underlying crispness on the long lingering finish – Outstanding Plus.    $25

2020 Tablas Creek Vineyard Côte De Tablas Blanc Adelaida District Paso Robles
Made with 38% Viognier, 32% Grenache Blanc, 22% Marsanne, and 8% Roussanne this wine has a light yellow color and a lovely perfume with honeysuckle and exotic citrus tinged nuances. Very elegant with great balance it is complex and flavorful with  floral, peach, and citrus intermingled with a nice underlying crispness. In short this is an irresistibly delicious white wine that is also a real value – Outstanding Plus.    $30

2019 Tablas Creek Vineyard Espirit Blanc De Tablas
Adelaida District Paso Robles
Yet another wow wine this Espirit Blanc De Tablas is made with a mix of 63% Roussanne combined with 20% Grenache Blanc, 14% Picpoul Blanc, and 3% Picardan. It has a light yellow color with a faint golden hue and a gorgeous perfume with exotic floral nuances accented by a faint mineral undertone. On the palate it is impressively rich, flavorful, and complex. Floral honeysuckle flavors are the accent to the peach and green apple fruit and the finish is long and lingering. This is a great white wine by  any standard – Extraordinary.     $50

2019 Tablas Creek Vineyard Espirit De Tablas
Adelaida District Paso Robles
Made with 39% Mouvédre, 30% Grenache, 21% Syrah, and 10% Counoise this wine has a dark color and a great plum and berry perfume accented by faint hints of chocolate and spice. On the palate it has great plum and berry fruit showing exotic floral hints with structure, depth, and balance with a firm underlying backbone and a long finish. Delicious now to be sure but some additional time in the bottle will reveal even more elegance and complexity. This is a great red wine in the making – OutstandingPlus/Extraordinary  $60

2019 Tablas Creek Vineyard Mouvédre
Adelaida District Paso Robles
Dark in color this Mouvédre has a lovely plum like perfume with faint hints of chocolate and exotic spice. On the palate it has lovely fruit, flavor and intensity with a firm underlying structure. It is lovely now but will continue to evolve and gain more complexity over many years into the future if you can resist the undeniable early appeal – Outstanding/Outstanding Plus.     $45 

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