The 2011 Tablas Creek Vineyard Picpoul Blanc (also known as Piquepoul or Piquepoul Blanc in France) is Tablas Creek’s fifth bottling of this traditional Southern Rhône varietal, used in Châteauneuf du Pape as a blending component, and best known from the crisp light green wines of the Pinet Region in the Coteaux de Languedoc. Literally translating to “lip stinger”, in France the grape is known for its bright acidity, its minerality, and a clean lemony flavor. We have found that in California, it maintains its bright acidity, but also develops an appealing tropical lushness.
Picpoul Blanc was the first supplementary varietal we brought into the country after the initial eight varietals. It went into quarantine in 1996, and was released in 1998. The first vines went into the ground in 2000. We are so excited about the varietal that in the winter of 2005-2006 we tripled our planted acreage (from 1 to 3 acres).
Our Picpoul 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, all at low alcohol levels. Our Picpoul was harvested on October 19th and 27th.
The Picpoul grapes were whole cluster pressed, and fermented using native yeasts in stainless steel to maintain its freshness. It completed malolactic fermentation in tank, and was bottled in May 2012.
The 2011 Picpoul Blanc shows expressive aromas of pineapple, white flowers, grilled citrus and caramel. In the mouth it is brightly acidic with flavors of pina colada broadened by a hint of toast, a lush texture surprising for those who only know Picpoul from France, then reverting to brightness on a lemony, mineral-laced finish.
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 »