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.
Hundreds of you have joined us for one of our annual blending seminars over the years. If you haven’t yet, let this be the year. Partner Jason Haas and winemaker Neil Collins will lead a barrel tasting of the individual varietals (both reds and whites), and will discuss how we turn roughly one hundred components into the blends and varieties we make each year. Then, you will be set loose with graduated cylinders to produce your own blends. Details & More Events »
From now through the end of April, we will ship any wine order, of any quantiy, to anywhere we ship, for just $10. Cheers! Details & more news »
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 »
April 15, 2015
Ten days ago, I was convinced that we were going to get clobbered by frost in the aftermath of a cold, wet Pacific storm. All the conditions were in place...And yet we made it through. It dropped into the low- to mid-30s eight of the first ten days of April... Read More »