The 2011 Tablas Creek Vineyard Petit Manseng is Tablas Creek’s second bottling of this traditional grape from southwest France. Petit Manseng is best known from appellation of Jurancon, where it has made admired but not widely disseminated sweet wines for centuries. Petit Manseng achieves sufficient concentration and sugar content to make naturally sweet wines without botrytis. This character was so valued that Petit Manseng is noted as the only wine used to baptize a king of France: Henry IV, the founder of the Bourbon dynasty, in his native Navarre.
We imported Petit Manseng in 2003 in the hopes of making a naturally sweet wine. The vines were released to us in 2006, and our first small vineyard block was planted in 2007. In 2011 we harvested enough fruit for a single barrel of wine. Our Petit Manseng grapes were grown on our 120-acre certified organic estate vineyard.
The 2011 vintage was our second consecutive winter with healthy rainfall, but yields were dramatically reduced by two nights of frost on April 8th and 9th. Despite the low crop loads, ripening was slow due to a very cool summer, and harvest roughly three weeks later than normal, beginning in mid-September and not concluding until mid-November. Warm, sunny weather during harvest allowed the later-ripening varieties to reach full maturity. The long hangtime and low yields combined to produce fruit with notable richness balanced by higher than usual acidity.
Our Petit Manseng was harvested on October 27th at 25.0° Brix and a pH of 3.26. We fermented it in a single barrel, and stopped its fermentation when it had about 27 grams/liter of sugar left and sat at an alcohol of 14.5%. The high acidity makes it taste much drier than the sugar reading would suggest. The wine was aged on its lees in barrel and bottled in June, 2012.
The 2011 Petit Manseng is rich but tangy, tropical yet clean. It has aromas and flavors of pineapple, ginger, mango, honey and preserved lemon, as well as white flowers and spice. It is lightly sweet but shows excellent freshness, and finishes clean and dry with a lingering flavor of lemon zest. We expect it to age gracefully for at least a decade.
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 are thrilled that both our 2013 Dianthus and 2013 Patelin de Tablas Rosé received 91 points from Wine Advocate, as well as recommendations from the Wine Spectator and from the New York Times. We expect both to be out of stock by August, so if you want some, act soon. Order » Browse recent press »