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.
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »