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.
You're invited to join us for a weekend-long Wine Festival celebration Friday, May 20th through Sunday, May 22nd. Friday, we're pouring at the RESERVE event from 4:00-6:30 then hosting a winemaker dinner at Bistro Laurent with wines from Beaucastel and Tablas Creek at 7:00. On Saturday at the Paso Robles downtown park we'll be joining the Paso Robles wine community for the Grand Tasting from 12:00 to 4:00. Sunday at the vineyard we'll have "brunch style" bites starting at 10am and live music with Shawn Clark Family Band from 12:00-3pm.
We were proud to learn that Tablas Creek Partner/GM Jason Haas was voted by his peers the 2015 Paso Robles Wine Industry Person of the Year. His father, our founder Robert Haas, wrote this appreciation on our blog.
In Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue 220) 15 Tablas wines topped 90 points, including 2014 Esprit de Tablas (93-96), 2013 Panoplie (94-96), and 2014 Panoplie (95-97). Read the review » More press »
April 27, 2016
Think of each plant that's growing in a given plot of land as like a wick, with its roots delving into the soil for available moisture. If we had overabundant water, we might want to leave some surface weeds to keep levels more reasonable. Instead, in our California climate, eliminating competition from grasses and other surface plants is an essential part of our ability to dry farm. Tilling in the cover crop also allows the insects and microorganisms in the soil to start breaking down the surface biomass accumulated during the winter growth into nutrients that the vines will draw from in the coming months. Finally, the loosening of the soil creates an insulating layer at the surface that helps conserve the water deeper down. Read More »