We received a package from our friends at Vineyard Brands a few weeks ago. In it were five bottles of recently released wines from Tablas Creek. We’ve reviewed wines from this producer many times over the past several years, and I can’t remember a single one that we didn’t like a lot. That’s probably the reason that they’re on a very short list of our favorite North American wineries, the wines are that good on a very consistent basis.
This particular package contained four whites and one red. We gave them a little over a week to rest from their cross-continent journey, then we tried them one by one over the next week and a half. We started with one from what is essentially TC’s entry level Patelin de Tablas range, their only wines that don’t use grapes exclusively from estate vineyards, but also include fruit from some of Paso Robles’ top Rhône vineyards.
2015 Tablas Creek Vineyard Patelin de Tablas Blanc Paso Robles, 56% Grenache Blanc, 23% Viognier, 12% Roussanne, 9% Marsanne, 13.5% Alc., $25.00: Clean, medium color; somewhat pungent on the nose, with flavors of citrus, white tree fruit, some mineral and a hint of lanolin, being ever-so-slightly musky, yet very refreshing. Full bodied and fairly dense; rich and intense, with excellent acids and length. I love the way the refreshing citrus quality plays off the muskier element. Very fine indeed.
25% Grenache Blanc from Coyote Moon Vineyard in Estrella District
23% Viognier and Grenache Blanc from Fralich in El Pomar District
18% Marsanne and Roussanne from Cass Vineyard in Geneseo District
10% Grenache Blanc from Adelaida in Adelaida District
9% Viognier from Clautiere in Geneseo District
6% Grenache Blanc from Dawson’s Creek Vineyard in El Pomar District
3% Viognier from Glenrose in Adelaida District
3% Viognier from Paso de Record in Estrella District
3% Roussanne and Marsanne from the Tablas Creek cerified organic estate vineyard
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2015 Tablas Creek Vineyard Côtes de Tablas Blanc Paso Robles, 26% Viognier, 25% Grenache Blanc, 25% Marsanne, 24% Roussanne, 13.5% Alc., $30.00: Clean, medium color; lanolin-laced flavors and aromas of white tree fruit, with gravelly mineral underneath. Rich, pungent, full bodied and dense, with excellent acids and very good length. I love the primary intensity here, but this has the guts and depth to age and develop for several years, so I need to get a few more of these and put them down for a while. Find this wine
2015 Tablas Creek Vineyard Grenache Blanc Paso Robles, 100% Grenache Blanc, 14.4% Alc., $30.00: Clean, medium color; quite pleasant on its own terms, but not nearly as expressive or intense as either the Patelin or Côtes de Tablas. White tree fruit flavors laced with lime and mineral come around nicely as the wine opens and warms in the glass. Full bodied, but not as dense as either of the previous two noted here, with good acids and length. This grows on me; the more I sip, the more I like. Find this wine
2014 Tablas Creek Vineyard Esprit de Tablas Blanc Paso Robles, 72% Roussanne, 23% Grenache Blanc, 5% Picpoul Blanc, 13.5% alc., $45.00: Clean, medium color; big, rich and intense, with mineral-driven white tree fruit and a hint o’ citrus. Full bodied, fairly dense and jazzed up with lemon squirt acidity. Of these four whites, this is the one that needs cellar time the most; air helps it now, and while certainly quite approachable, one would do well to give this at least five years and as much as seven-to-ten or more in the cellar to develop and mellow. What a wealth of potential here! Find this wine
2014 Tablas Creek Vineyard Mourvèdre Paso Robles, 100% Mourvèdre, 13.5% alc., $40.00: Deep and dark in color, with a rich, expressive nose of black plums and berries. Flavors echo and expand beautifully, ripe, but not too ripe, with a shovelful of earth to counterbalance. A wine of substantial weight, with ample structure for many years of development, yet already displaying considerable charm. As fine a Tablas Creek Mourvèdre as I’ve had and, as you might expect, it just gets better and better with air. Find this wine
And the hits keep coming from Tablas Creek Vineyard.
Reporting from Day-twah,