2009 Cotes de Tablas: Wine Specator's #37 Wine of 2011
We are thrilled that the Wine Spectator placed the 2009 Cotes de Tablas at #37 in their influential year-end "Top 100" list, and recognized Tablas Creek for having "perfected a uniquely Californian take on the Rhône Valley". This is the third consecutive year a Tablas Creek wine has been featured in the Wine Spectator's list; the 2006 Esprit de Beaucastel appeared at #50 in 2009 and the 2007 Esprit de Beaucastel at #33 in 2010.
The Tablas Creek Vineyard Côtes de Tablas is a blend of four estate-grown Rhône varietals: Grenache, Syrah, Counoise and Mourvèdre. Like most wines of the Southern Rhône, it is a blend of varietals, featuring the fruit and spice of Grenache balanced by the spice and mineral of Syrah, the appealing briary wildness of Counoise, and the structure of Mourvèdre.
The grapes for our Côtes de Tablas were grown on our 120-acre certified organic estate vineyard.
The 2009 vintage was our third consecutive drought year, with yields further reduced by April frosts. Berries and clusters were small, with excellent concentration. Ripening over the summer was gradual and our harvest largely complete except for about half our Mourvèdre at the time of a major rainstorm on October 13th. Crop sizes were 15% smaller than 2008 and 30% lower than usual. The low yields and gradual ripening resulted in wines with an appealing lushness, rich texture and wonderful chalky tannins. Syrah began the harvest of our reds between September 17th and 24th, followed by Grenache between September 26th and October 3rd, Counoise between October 10th and 12th, and Mourvèdre between September 30th and November 3rd.
All varietals were fermented in a mix of stainless steel and wooden upright fermenters with the use of native yeasts. After pressing, the wines were racked, blended, aged for a year in 1200-gallon French oak foudres, and then bottled in February 2011. The wines underwent only a light filtration before bottling.
The 2009 Côtes de Tablas shows a rich, minty nose with dark chocolate, cherry, leather, licorice and crushed rock. The mouth explodes with dark cherry, with nice chalky Grenache tannins giving firmness. The very long finish lingers with flavors of licorice, spice and cherry liqueur. Our most concentrated Côtes de Tablas ever; it should drink well young but also cellar happily for a decade.
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 »