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 us for the Paso Robles Wine Community's biggest celebration! We'll pour Esprit de Beaucastel at Friday's Reserve Event and a range of new releases at Saturday's Grand Tasting. And all weekend we'll have special wines open at the winery and will be taking tours to visit our herd of sheep, alpacas and donkeys. Sunday 11am to 1:30pm enjoy Chef Jacob Lovejoy's small plates, free with a tasting. Details & more events »
In May, we're featuring our 2011 Cotes de Tablas Blanc at a 10% discount. In 2011, our Viognier crop was cut by 80% due to spring frost, leaving a tiny, intense yield of less than one-half a ton per acre. The resulting wine is rich and tropical, with stone fruits and honey, but at the same time firmly dry, with a very long, saline & mineral finish. Details »
May 15, 2013
Take a look at the seven-line entry of Frank Schoonmaker, America’s foremost wine expert and author in 1964, about terroir. His association, rather than the "somewhereness" the wine exhibits, is more of a taste of dirt, neither elegant nor elevated: "somewhat unpleasant, common, persistent”. My, how things have changed. More »