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.
Each summer, we pick a wine that we make and delve into how our understanding of it has evolved over the years, and how it has aged in the decade-plus since we started. This summer, we turn our attention to Mourvèdre. You may know it best as the backbone varietal for our flagship Esprit de Tablas and our elite blend Panoplie. But we’ve bottled it on its own most years since 2003. Join us in the cellar Saturday, July 16th for a vertical tasting of every vintage of our varietal Mourvèdre, from that first 2003 to the newly-bottled 2014. The cost is just $50 for wine club members and $65 for guests. Reservations are essential; we expect this to sell out. To reserve, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 805.237.1231 ext 36. And for a preview, check out our blog post on a 2014 Mourvèdre retrospective.
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 »
May 16, 2016
By: Suphada Rom
The repertoire of wines that I work with at Tablas Creek are French-centric: Rhone, with a California inflection. This means that I'm surrounded by complex blends. Still, we've tried to bring to light some of our lesser known varieties, to help people understand what makes them appealing. In fact, one of my favorite things about our tasting room experience is sharing some of the more obscure and rare bottlings of solo bottlings of things normally found on their own. Like Counoise. Or, when I have someone really interested in our white wines, Picpoul Blanc. Read More »