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.
The Tablas Creek tasting room will be open exclusively for our VINsider Club Members to celebrate our Spring VINsider Wine Club shipment Sunday, April 13th. VINsiders are invited to come to one of four sessions (10:30am, noon, 1:30pm or 3:00pm) at which we'll taste the wines in the recent shipment paired with small bites prepared by Chef Jeff Scott. Read More »
The Rhone Rangers organization will make its second annual Lifetime Achievement Award on Saturday, April 5, 2014 to recognize Robert Haas, Partner and Founder, Tablas Creek Vineyard. Read More»
By Robert Haas
March 7, 2014
Congratulations to Jean-Pierre and François Perrin,"Men of the Year" in the current issue of the venerable English wine magazine, Decanter. I cannot think of any French wine family with better credentials. We love them. More »