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 founders Robert and Barbara Haas and Winemaker Neil Collins on an intimate river cruise up the Rhone Valley from Avignon to Lyon August 2-9, 2015. Daily shore tours include a behind-the-scenes visit to Chateau de Beaucastel. Details »
We were thrilled to receive such good reviews from this notoriously tough grader, including the 2012 Esprit de Tablas Blanc (92 points; “impeccably refined”), 2011 Panoplie (94 points; "pure elegance"), 2012 Patelin de Tablas (90 points; “a gorgeous wine and a fabulous value”), and the 2012 Esprit de Tablas (93-95 points; "a fascinating Esprit to follow over the coming years"). Read the complete review » More recent press »
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