The Tablas Creek Vineyard En Gobelet 2011 is a unique blend of four estate-grown varietals, selected from head-pruned, dry-farmed sections of our 120-acre certified organic estate vineyard. We have felt for some time that the lots from head-pruned blocks share an elegance and a clarity that was noteworthy. Beginning in 2007, we created our non-traditional (but delicious) blend En Gobelet which combines the fruit, approachability and lushness of Grenache, the structure, earth, and mid-palate richness of Mourvèdre, the dark color and minerality of Syrah, and the dark smokiness of Tannat.
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, impacting early-sprouting grapes like Grenache and Syrah but largely sparing the late-sprouting Mourvedre. 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. Syrah harvest began September 30th, followed by Grenache on October 4th, Tannat on October 12th and Mourvèdre on October 18th. The last pick of all four grapes came November 9th.
The grapes were largely havested together from the section of the vineyard we call "Scruffy Hill" and co-fermented in an upright oak fermenter using native yeasts. After pressing, the wine was moved into one 1200-gallon French oak foudre as well as a couple of older oak puncheons. It was re-blended and bottled in April 2013.
A dramatic, dark nose showing a meaty, iron-like aroma that reminded me of newly-carved, rare grilled steak. This mingles with fruit aromatics that shift between black and red (blackcurrant and black cherry) and a minty, chocolatey note. In the mouth it's rich and robust with meaty flavors darkened by notes of espresso and cocoa bean, and powerful but refined tannins coming out at the end. The finish shows more grilled meat and a hint of saline minerality. Spectacular, and Neil and I thought it our best En Gobelet ever. Drink over the next two decades.
En Primeur Order Deadline Monday, December 9th
Offering wine en primeur is a time-honored French tradition where valued customers are offered the opportunity to secure a limited quantity of sought-after wines at a special price in advance of bottling and general release. All VINsiders may order futures at the exclusive 30% en primeur discount off eventual release price. Details » More events »
At Tablas Creek, we want to help you celebrate in style. We have several ways in which you can give the gift of Tablas Creek, including four special holiday gift packs (on which we include no-charge shipping), Tablas Creek gift cards, gift VINsider memberships and more.
December 9, 2013
It may not be intuitive why frosty winters are a good thing for vineyards, particularly given our agonizing battle with frosts in the spring. But grapevines are deciduous plants, and benefit from being forced into full dormancy. More »