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.
Even though we don’t produce Zinfandel, we’ll be celebrating Vintage Paso (formerly Zinfandel Festival) the weekend of March 20th. In celebration of California’s heritage grapes, we’ll focus on the dry-farmed, head-trained vines of Tablas Creek and lead short forays into the vineyard to discuss the impact of farming without irrigation. You’ll even get to taste the 2012 En Gobelet among the vines which produced it. Details & More Events »
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 »
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 »
February 23, 2015
Normally, the sign at the edge of our head-trained Mourvedre vineyard just outside our tasting room is to protect people from a twisted ankle, should they stray off the tarmac. Now, we're worried we might lose them in the cover crop! Read More »