2009 Côtes de Tablas

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.

Production Notes

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.

Tasting Notes

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.

Updated tasting notes from a September 2011 tasting can be found on the Tablas Creek blog.


[...more recent Tablas Creek press]

Recipe Suggestions

[...more recipes]

Food Pairings

  • Grilled steaks
  • Pastas with meat sauces
  • Rich beef stews
  • Spicy sausages
Cotes de Tablas

Not Available for Purchase



  • 43% Grenache
  • 24% Syrah
  • 18% Counoise
  • 15% Mourvèdre

Technical Notes

  • 14.5% Alcohol by Volume
  • 1050 Cases Produced



Paso Robles Harvest Wine Weekend

Join us for Paso Robles' annual harvest celebration the weekend of October 16th-18th
All weekend: Visit our tasting room for a first look at our newest Esprit de Tablas wines from the 2013 vintage.
Friday night: Enjoy a four-course, four-wine dinner at McPhee's Grill in Templeton. $105/per person; reservations are essential. Details »
Saturday: Our winemakers will be leading interactive harvest cellar tours 10:30, 12:00, 2:00, 3:30 (20 guest limit). Free to all; no reservations needed. Details »

Tablas Creek News

Tablas Creek in The New York Times and Washington Post in August

We are pleased to have been included in recent articles in The New York Times (on creative responses to California's drought) and the Washington Post (on our 11 new AVA's) and to see the attention for Paso Robles. More recent press »

MA Shipping Permit Received!

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 »

On the Tablas Blog

We wind toward the close of a high quality but painfully low-yielding 2015 harvest

October 6, 2015
I snuck out yesterday morning to get some photos of the ever-diminishing portions of the vineyard that still have grapes on them. One block that I particularly wanted to see was Syrah, given that it was scheduled to be picked in the afternoon. It was looking suitably autumnal: Read More »