Petite 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 Cotes de Tablas, the Petite Cuvée is a selection from our friendliest, most open lots, based on the warmth and sunny fruit of Grenache.
The Tablas Creek Vineyard Petite Cuvée 1999 is a blend of three estate-grown varietals, propagated from budwood cuttings from the Château de Beaucastel estate. The wine is based on the bright fruit and spice of Grenache, with additions of Syrah for mineral, aromatics, and back-palate tannins, and Mourvèdre, for dark red fruit, earth and structure.
The grapes for our Petite Cuvée were grown on our 120-acre certified organic estate vineyard.
In blending the dense, ageable 1999 Reserve Cuvée, we set aside brighter, fruitier lots that we thought would be best appreciated younger. These lots became the Petite Cuvée, and our first Grenache-based wine. The 1999 harvest took place starting in September under ideal conditions and continued through October. Production levels were low and grapes were concentrated. 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 Petite Cuvée is a delightfully and exuberantly fruity, with flavors of blue fruits and spice held in check by ripe mid-palate tannins. Drink in the first 4-6 years.
You're invited to join us for an Earth Day celebration Sunday, April 24 at Tablas Creek Vineyard. Visit the winery all weekend from 10am to 5pm and learn about our organic and Biodynamic viticulture and limestone soils. Taste the wines from the current VINsider Wine Club shipment, and see our biodynamic sheep, alpacas, donkeys and llama! Tours run daily at 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. Also, enjoy the high-energy sounds of Bear Market Riot from noon to 3:00 PM on our terraced patio.
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 »