The 2010 Tablas Creek Vineyard Counoise is Tablas Creek’s fourth varietal bottling of this traditional blending grape from the Southern Rhone. The Counoise grape has an unusual combination of lush blue and purple fruit (blueberries and cranberries), sweet spice (nutmeg and cinnamon), light-to-medium body, bright acidity, ruby color, and soft tannin.
Our Counoise grapes were grown on our 120-acre certified organic estate vineyard. We typically use all this Counoise in our Esprit de Beaucastel and Côtes de Tablas wines. However, in years when Counoise spends an unusually long time on the vine, it achieves enough concentration to balance its exuberant fruit, spice and acidity.
The 2010 vintage saw healthy rainfall after three years of drought. The ample early-season groundwater and a lack of spring frosts produced a good fruit set. A very cool summer delayed ripening by roughly three weeks, with harvest not beginning until mid-September and still less than half complete in mid-October. Warm, sunny weather between mid-October and mid-November allowed the later-ripening varieties to reach full maturity. The long hangtime and cool temperatures combined to produce fruit with intense flavors and dark color at low alcohol levels. The Counoise was harvested between October 17th and November 6th.
The Counoise grapes were destemmed and fermented in closed-top stainless steel fermenters using only native yeasts. After two weeks, the grapes were is pressed and moved to small neutral French oak barrels, where the wine was aged until it was bottled in May 2012.
The 2010 Counoise shows a rich, tangy, spicy nose of low country barbeque, smoke, pomegranate and figs. The mouth is silky at first -- surprising for a Counoise -- with a milk chocolate note, remarkably polished. Then the flavors explode into sour cherry, spice, tree bark, blood orange and cola, an amazing collection of powerful, vibrant flavors hard to imagine in one wine. The finish reverberates between tangy fruit and sweet spice. Drink this wine now and for the next five years.
Tablas Creek will join the 50 members of the Paso Robles Chapter of the Rhone Rangers for the 2016 Paso Robles Rhone Rangers Experience. This fun-filled and information-rich day will include a "Rhone Essentials" seminar moderated by Esther Mobley, Wine, Beer & Spirits Writer for the San Francisco Chronicle, a Vintners' Lunch, and the Grand Tasting and Silent Auction. For more information or to purchase tickets, click here.
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 »
February 11, 2016
By Robert Haas
In 2002 my son Jason, fresh from a stint in the east coast’s tech world, arrived in Paso Robles and started working at Tablas Creek, focusing initially on our marketing and increasingly on our management. Although Jason has taken over the day-to-day operations here, I'm still working because I enjoy our working together. It's fun. His leadership here and his accomplishments at the vineyard and in the community delight me. Read More »