The 2003 Tablas Creek Vineyard Vin de Paille is Tablas Creek’s first bottling of this traditional Mediterranean technique for producing dessert wines. Ripe grape bunches are carefully laid down on straw-covered benches in our greenhouses, and allowed to dehydrate in the sun. When the grapes reach the desired concentration, we press them and move the juice to oak barrels for fermentation. The juice ferments until it reaches an alcohol level where the sweetness of the juice is balanced by the acids and mineral characteristics of the wine itself.
The 2003 Vin de Paille is a blend of three white Rhone grapes: Viognier, Marsanne, and Grenache Blanc. We also made a 100% Roussanne Vin de Paille “Quintessence” that we aged in barrel for some additional time and released in mid-2005, as well as a recioto-style, 100% Mourvèdre Vin de Paille “Sacrérouge”.
The 2003 vintage was tremendous: warm and sunny, with cool nights that prolonged the hangtime of the grapes and led to wines with excellent acidity. A relatively early flowering, combined with a warm but not overly hot summer produced unusually long hangtime, and grapes with concentrated flavors and a distinct minerality. The extended harvest meant that we harvested varietals multiple times: Grenache Blanc between September 16th and October 22nd, Viognier between September 18th and October 6th, and the Marsanne between September 18th and October 8th.
The wine, after pressing, was aged in a new French oak barrel for 9 months before being bottled in June of 2004. It was released in December 2004, after six more months in bottle.
The 2003 Vin de Paille has a beautiful nose of apricots and honey, with moderate sweetness and flavors of caramel, peach and nectarine balanced by refreshing acidity. Its finish turns clean and mineral, with lingering flavors of apricot.
Join founders Robert and Barbara Haas and Winemaker Neil Collins on an intimate river cruise up the Rhone Valley from Avignon to Lyon August 2-9, 2015. Daily shore tours include a behind-the-scenes visit to Chateau de Beaucastel. Details »
We are thrilled that both our 2013 Dianthus and 2013 Patelin de Tablas Rosé received 91 points from Wine Advocate, as well as recommendations from the Wine Spectator and from the New York Times. We expect both to be out of stock by August, so if you want some, act soon. Order » Browse recent press »
July 25, 2014
By Robert Haas
Two old northern Rhône wines with our roast pork loin last night reminded me of the pleasures of the Rhône River. Barbara and I are very much looking forward to joining Neil and Marcy and sharing our experience with our fellow cruise guests next August. Read More »