Reserve Cuvée: The Beginning
In the early years of Tablas Creek, we produced just one red wine and one white wine, and called these Rouge and Blanc. Beginning in 1999, we separated our red production into two wines: the Reserve Cuvée (which the next year we would rename Esprit de Beaucastel) and the Petite Cuvée (which would become the Cotes de Tablas).
Like the Esprit de Beaucastel, the Reserve Cuvée is a selection from our most compelling lots, blended for elegance, richness, and longevity.
The Tablas Creek Vineyard Reserve Cuvée 1999 is a blend of four estate-grown varietals, propagated from budwood cuttings from the Château de Beaucastel estate. The wine is based on the dark red fruit, earth, spice and mid-palate richness of Mourvèdre, with additions of Grenache for forward fruit, approachability and lushness, Syrah for mineral, aromatics, and back-palate tannins, and Counoise for brambly spice and acidity.
The grapes for our Reserve Cuvée were grown on our 120-acre certified organic estate vineyard.
The 1999 Reserve Cuvée is a powerful expression of the outstanding 1999 vintage. The crop was small and concentrated. The harvest took place starting in September under ideal conditions and continued through October. The lots were fermented separately with native yeasts, then blended in the spring of 2000 and aged in 1200-gallon foudres until the wine's bottling in July of 2001.
The 1999 Reserve Cuvée is a deeply colored, richly intense, highly extracted wine, redolent of ripe cherries, raspberries, currants and blueberries held together in a velvety tannic structure. We expect it to age for a decade or longer.
Since 2007, we have made our En Gobelet exclusively from dry-farmed, head-trained vineyard blocks. The results have been so compelling that we're planning to plant our entire new parcel -- all 55 acres -- in this style over the coming decade. Join us for this vertical tasting of every vintage of En Gobelet, from the 2007 to the newly-blended 2014. We'll also offer, before the tasting, an optional hike led by Viticulturist Levi Glenn through the rugged Scruffy Hill block from which we source most of the wine, and finish with a picnic lunch on our patio. $60 for wine club members and $75 for guests. Reservations are essential; we expect this to sell out. To reserve, email us at email@example.com or call us at 805.237.1231 ext 30. 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 »
May 26, 2015
I was struck by a quote from Tegan Passalaqua, the winemaker at Turley, in a recent article on JancisRobinson.com. In an interview with Alder Yarrow, Tegan said "In a Mediterranean climate like we have, vertical shoot positioning and 3 by 6 vineyard spacing is basically farming hydroponically".
Hydroponic farming, with its overtones of bland supermarket tomatoes, seems an unlikely candidate to provide the intensity and ripeness that a winemaker would expect from California. But in its essence, that the farmer is providing everything that a plant needs to bear fruit, I don't think he's far off. It's worth taking a few moments to understand how grapevines came to be so widely irrigated in California. Read More »