The 2009 Grenache is Tablas Creek’s fourth varietal bottling of the signature grape of the southern Rhone Valley. The wine shows the bright fruit and tangy acidity of the Grenache Noir grape, as well as the characteristic concentration of the 2009 vintage.
We use most of our Grenache in our Esprit de Beaucastel and Côtes de Tablas blends each year. However, we feel that this is a grape whose bright fruit, spice and acidity lends itself well to bottling as a single-varietal wine as well. In addition, Grenache seems to improve more dramatically with vine age than any other grape we grow, and we have been increasingly impressed with its performance in Paso Robles the last few years. We first produced a single-varietal Grenache bottling in 2006.
The grapes for our 2009 Grenache 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 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. Grenache lots were harvested between September 26th and October 3rd.
The Grenache grapes were destemmed and then fermented using native yeasts in closed stainless steel tanks. After two weeks, they were pressed and moved to neutral barrels to complete their fermentation. The Grenache lots were blended in June of 2010, aged for an additional year in a 1200-gallon foudre and bottled in May 2011.
The 2009 Grenache shows a powerfully Grenache nose of cherry liqueur, licorice root, and cocoa, but held in check with an appealing mineral note. In the mouth it shows rich at first, with rare meat and wild strawberry, then big tannins come to the fore. The tannins resolve in the finish and leave a suggestion of clean minerality. Pair now with substantial food, or age for a decade or more for a more elegant profile.
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 »