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.
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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:
Although all of these wines will be released nationally, none were made in large quantities. Can't find what you want locally? Order online.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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 »
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 »
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.
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.
See below for just a few of the articles posted on the Tablas Blog in recent weeks...
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 »
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 »
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 »
July 2nd - 9th, 2017
We’re excited to be returning to the Mediterranean in the summer of 2017 to host a Rhone River cruise aboard the wonderful Uniworld ship S.S. Catherine. Partner Jason Haas, with his wife Meghan, and Executive Winemaker Neil Collins, with his wife Marci, will host this 8-day cruise from Avignon to Lyon. For all the details, and to book, visit our travel partners' Web site at foodandwinetrails.com/tablascreek2017 or call Food & Wine Trails at (800) 367-5348. We hope that you will join us!
In Antonio Galloni's Vinous (Sept. 2016) 28 Tablas wines topped 90 points, including 2014 Esprit Blanc (93), 2013 Panoplie (95), 2014 Patelin de Tablas (91) and 2014 En Gobelet (93). Read the review » More press »
Each month we feature one item that we think is showing particularly well at a 10% discount. February's feature is our 2014 Full Circle Pinot Noir. Details »
February 20, 2017
As many of you know, we have been building up our flock this year. The animals help build up our soil, spreading manure thoroughly and evenly, reducing or eliminating our need to bring in outside fertilizer. They help keep weeds down and reduce the number of tractor passes we need come spring. And they attract different microbes and insects into soil that is vibrantly alive in a way that just doesn't happen in a monoculture. The past few years, we've had around 80 sheep, along with a few alpacas, two donkeys, and a llama. Now, thanks to a fertile winter season, we're up to 165 sheep, plus the other members of the menagerie. The flock can at times be seen from the tasting room, but is more often working quietly, out of view: Read More »