Spring 2013 E-Newsletter

Tablas Creek Vineyard 2013 Spring E-Newsletter

Spring greetings from Tablas Creek! We've had a busy beginning to 2013, working on blending a top-notch 2012 vintage while we add to our herd of sheep, alpacas and donkeys, continue our transition toward Biodynamic farming, and travel around the country participating in dinners and tastings.  We have some great new releases, are pleased to announce the return of our April $10 flat-rate shipping, and much more.

We are interested in your feedback. If you have suggestions or critiques, or would like to remove yourself from our list, please contact us at mailinglist@tablascreek.com.

New Spring Wine Releases

We're thrilled to announce the release of four great new wines, including our first wines from the outstanding 2012 vintage.  The new releases are:

  • The 2012 Vermentino, a classic Sardinian grape, crisp and citrusy with pronounced minerality, great with fresh seafood. $27; $21.60 to VINsiders.
  • The 2012 Patelin de Tablas Rosé, modeled after the ethereal rosés of Provence, based on Grenache's juiciness and yet firmly dry. $20; $16 to VINsiders.
  • The 2012 Dianthus, our newly renamed rich, dry Mourvedre-based rosé.  Always a summer favorite, paired with food or alone. $27; $21.60 to VINsiders.
  • The 2011 Cotes de Tablas, even better, we think, than the 2009 that the Wine Spectator included in their "Top 100". Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre and Counoise. $30; $24 to VINsiders.

Although all of these wines will be released nationally, none were made in large quantities. Can't find what you want locally? Order online.

Introducing $10 Flat-Rate Shipping for April

We know that shipping wine can be expensive. For the month of April we're making it as easy as we can. Through the end of the month, each order, no matter the quantity, will be shipped anywhere we ship for just $10 per address. Whether you order one bottle of wine or two cases or more, use the opportunity to send wine to yourself, your family or your friends. You can read details of the offer, or order online.

Spring Vineyard and Cellar Report

After a wet December, the beginning of 2013 has been the driest on record. Regular frosts December-February kept the vineyard dormant, and the arrival of warm, sunny weather in mid-March has produced some of the lushest cover crops and most beautiful wildflowers we can remember.  With the first signs of budbreak appearing in late March, we're on track or just slightly behind normal.

We've moved our herd of grazing sheep, alpacas and donkeys to more vineyard blocks than ever before, where they help turn under the cover crops and fertilize the vineyard naturally.  We've never seen the vineyard looking healthier, and we're confident that this will translate into the quality of the wines. In the cellar, we've begun blending the 2012 whites, which fulfill the potential that the warm, reliable 2012 harvest promised.

Last Chance: Spring 2013 VINsider Shipment

We are incredibly excited about the shipment we put together for our VINsider Wine Club members this spring. Highlighted by the 94-96 point 2010 Panoplie (our elite red blend available only to club members) it also includes two small-production single varietal reds (2010 Grenache and 2010 Syrah), the rich, floral 2011 Cotes de Tablas Blanc, the exceptional value 2011 Patelin de Tablas picked last week by the Dallas Morning News as one of two recommended California wines to pair with Easter dinner, and the rich, spicy, dry 2012 Dianthus rosé.

We sent out our spring shipment in March, but held back a few for anyone who should join this month. You can read more about the VINsider shipment, or sign up online to become a VINsider.

Other Wine Club Options: VINdependent Club and Collector's Edition

You may not be aware that we have two additional wine clubs to suit your diverse needs.  All clubs include discounts on events and free tasting for yourself and your guests at Tablas Creek.  The options:

VINsider Wine Club Collector's Edition

Want more? Since 2003, we have been aging small libraries of our flagship Esprit de Beaucastel wines.  Members of the VINsider Wine Club Collector’s Edition have exclusive access to these wines, as well as all benefits of the VINsider Club.  Although the Collector’s Edition is currently full, we plan to add some members before the fall shipment, subject to available space. Register here »

VINdependent Wine Club

Want less of a commitment? As part of the VINdependent Club, you choose your wines when you want them… the only requirement is a cumulative purchase of six bottles each calendar year.  And the benefits (10% discount on all purchases, with a 20% discount on orders of a case or more, free tasting at the winery, and access to club-only wines) are great! Sign up here »

Featured Wine for April 2013: 2010 Tannat

Tannat is the dark-skinned, smoky, tannin-rich variety native to the Basque country that came to fame as the grape with the highest recorded concentrations of oligomeric procyanidins (OPC’s), the heart-healthy compounds found in grape skins. Whatever its health benefits, it’s delicious, and as we don’t ever make much, we're excited to name our 2010 Tannat as April’s feature. It is a vibrant red-black in color, with plush, polished black raspberry, smoked meat and lacquered wood on the nose. The flavors that follow are surprisingly pretty, pure and seamless for a Tannat this young, before a wash of tannins reassert control.

Through the end of April, this wine is offered at a 10% discount, above and beyond any other discounts that might apply, such as for case purchases or wine club membership: just $36 per bottle ($28 to VINsiders). You can read more, or order online.

Join Tablas Creek around the country

In coming weeks and months, we'll be participating in events in-state in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Orange County, Paso Robles, Atascadero and Shell Beach, and visiting Denver, Chicago and Madison, WI. We'd love you to join us. We're also hosting our first-ever Mediterranean cruise July 21-28 that includes a special visit to Beaucastel. For more information, updated regularly, visit tablascreek.com/events.

On the Tablas Creek blog

See below for just a few of the articles posted on the Tablas Blog in recent weeks...

The stunning 2013 wildflower season

I've never seen a wildflower season like this one.  Whether because of all the sun we've had the last two months, because of the work we've been doing with biodynamics to help build up the soil's health, or something else entirely, these couple of weeks before the vines burst from dormancy are a study in beauty and contrast: warm sun and wintery brown vines. Deep green grasses and yellow and orange flowers. Cool -- even frosty -- mornings and warm afternoons.

The result is spectacular, if fleeting. if you're coming to Paso Robles in the next few weeks, be sure to ask for the tour and not just content yourself with a visit to the tasting room.  If you need a little more convincing, a few photos will hopefully do the trick. Read more »

A fertile beginning to 2013

Our flock is growing! It's lambing season, and we've turned our sheep barn into a nursery.  In the manner of new parents everywhere, I'll share a few baby photos because I can't help but think you'll agree that they're irresistibly cute.

These sheep will join our grazing herd, which is hard at work chewing down our cover crop, fertilizing the vineyard blocks they're in, and mixing everything around with their hooves.  We've been moving the flock around to different acre-and-a-half sections every week or so, and keeping them together and safe with a movable, lightweight electric fence.  Read more »

Surviving consolidation in the wholesale wine market

In January I made the trek up to Sacramento for the Unified Wine & Grape Symposium to see the newest in technology, to check in with friends and colleagues from other regions, and to take in a program that includes seminars on viticulture, winemaking, wine marketing, and business/operations.

I was invited to represent smaller wineries on a panel titled "Surviving Consolidation: How to Position Your Brand for Success", and was joined by a representative from a larger winery, a wine wholesaler and a retailer. I decided to share a few of the key points on the blog. Read more »


Blending Seiminar 5/2

Hundreds of you have joined us for one of our annual blending seminars over the years. If you haven’t yet, let this be the year. Partner Jason Haas and winemaker Neil Collins will lead a barrel tasting of the individual varietals (both reds and whites), and will discuss how we turn roughly one hundred components into the blends and varieties we make each year. Then, you will be set loose with graduated cylinders to produce your own blends. Details & More Events »

Tablas Creek News

MA Shipping Permit Received!

We are thrilled to announce that we've received our shipping permit from the great state of Massachusetts. Residents of the Bay State can now order wine or become VINsider Wine Club members.  More shipping news »

Antonio Galloni 8/14: 30 Wines 90+

In August, Antonio Galloni published the results of his annual visit to Tablas Creek, and we were excited to receive such good reviews from this notoriously tough grader. Notes included the 2012 Esprit de Tablas Blanc (92 points; “impeccably refined”), 2011 Panoplie (94 points; "pure elegance"), 2012 Patelin de Tablas (90 points; “a gorgeous wine and a fabulous value”), and the 2012 Esprit de Tablas (93-95 points; "a fascinating Esprit to follow over the coming years"). Read the complete review » More recent press »

On the Tablas Blog

Budbreak, 2015: Early, like 2014. Cue the frost alarms.

March 16, 2015
Please join me in welcoming the 2015 vintage to Tablas Creek. Budbreak is a hopeful thing: the beginning of a season of growth, and the beginning of our work that will come to define 2015 for us for years to come. But early budbreak is risky... Read More »