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 us for the Paso Robles Wine Community's biggest celebration! We'll pour Esprit de Beaucastel at Friday's Reserve Event and a range of new releases at Saturday's Grand Tasting. And all weekend we'll have special wines open at the winery and will be taking tours to visit our herd of sheep, alpacas and donkeys. Sunday 11am to 1:30pm enjoy Chef Jacob Lovejoy's small plates, free with a tasting. Details & more events »
In May, we're featuring our 2011 Cotes de Tablas Blanc at a 10% discount. In 2011, our Viognier crop was cut by 80% due to spring frost, leaving a tiny, intense yield of less than one-half a ton per acre. The resulting wine is rich and tropical, with stone fruits and honey, but at the same time firmly dry, with a very long, saline & mineral finish. Details »
May 15, 2013
Take a look at the seven-line entry of Frank Schoonmaker, America’s foremost wine expert and author in 1964, about terroir. His association, rather than the "somewhereness" the wine exhibits, is more of a taste of dirt, neither elegant nor elevated: "somewhat unpleasant, common, persistent”. My, how things have changed. More »