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.
The Tablas Creek tasting room will be open exclusively for our VINsider Club Members to celebrate our Spring VINsider Wine Club shipment Sunday, April 13th. VINsiders are invited to come to one of four sessions (10:30am, noon, 1:30pm or 3:00pm) at which we'll taste the wines in the recent shipment paired with small bites prepared by Chef Jeff Scott. Read More »
The Rhone Rangers organization will make its second annual Lifetime Achievement Award on Saturday, April 5, 2014 to recognize Robert Haas, Partner and Founder, Tablas Creek Vineyard. Read More»
By Robert Haas
March 7, 2014
Congratulations to Jean-Pierre and François Perrin,"Men of the Year" in the current issue of the venerable English wine magazine, Decanter. I cannot think of any French wine family with better credentials. We love them. More »