The 2012 Tablas Creek Vineyard Viognier is the first single-varietal viognier since 2006. The Viognier grape, known more from the northern Rhone than the area around Chateauneuf du Pape, sprouts first of all our grapes, making it the most prone to frost, but was spared in 2012 and thrived in the warm days and cool nights.
Our Viognier grapes were grown on our 120-acre certified organic estate vineyard.
We use most of our Viognier in our Côtes de Tablas Blanc each year. However, in 2012, we were so pleased by the Viognier that we harvested that we reserved a small quantity of Viognier for a single-varietal bottling
The 2012 vintage was a classic Paso Robles vintage, warm and sunny, but with above-average yields thanks to average winter rainfall and the frost-reduced 2011 crop. Despite the warm summer, ripening was slowed due to the healthy crop levels, and harvest at a normal time starting in early September and finishing in late October.
It was whole cluster pressed and fermented in stainless steel, then blended and bottled August 22nd, 2013 in screwcap, to preserve its brightness.
For a Viognier, the 2012 has a nose that is more savory than fruit or floral driven at this stage, with peppered mango and preserved lemon, grilled bread and exotic herbs. In the mouth it's rich, long and broad, with flavors of citrus peel, lemongrass and Chinese five spice. The richness is held in check by good acidity, and the texture is marvelous. Let this age for a few months if you can, then drink between 2014 and 2018. It's possible it will go longer, too, but with Viognier, you never know.
You're invited to join us for an Earth Day celebration Sunday, April 24 at Tablas Creek Vineyard. Visit the winery all weekend from 10am to 5pm and learn about our organic and Biodynamic viticulture and limestone soils. Taste the wines from the current VINsider Wine Club shipment, and see our biodynamic sheep, alpacas, donkeys and llama! Tours run daily at 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. Also, enjoy the high-energy sounds of Bear Market Riot from noon to 3:00 PM on our terraced patio.
We were proud to learn that Tablas Creek Partner/GM Jason Haas was voted by his peers the 2015 Paso Robles Wine Industry Person of the Year. His father, our founder Robert Haas, wrote this appreciation on our blog.
In Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue 220) 15 Tablas wines topped 90 points, including 2014 Esprit de Tablas (93-96), 2013 Panoplie (94-96), and 2014 Panoplie (95-97). Read the review » More press »
April 27, 2016
Think of each plant that's growing in a given plot of land as like a wick, with its roots delving into the soil for available moisture. If we had overabundant water, we might want to leave some surface weeds to keep levels more reasonable. Instead, in our California climate, eliminating competition from grasses and other surface plants is an essential part of our ability to dry farm. Tilling in the cover crop also allows the insects and microorganisms in the soil to start breaking down the surface biomass accumulated during the winter growth into nutrients that the vines will draw from in the coming months. Finally, the loosening of the soil creates an insulating layer at the surface that helps conserve the water deeper down. Read More »