The Tablas Creek Vineyard 2011 Full Circle Pinot Noir is Tablas Creek's second bottling of this renowned Burgundy grape from the small vineyard outside Robert Haas's family home in Templeton. We named the wine Full Circle because it reflects his career: from a start introducing America to the greatness of Burgundy, through decades focusing on grapes from the Rhone, he's now growing Pinot at home.
After importing our Châteauneuf du Pape clones, we brought in selections of a few other high quality (non-Rhone) clones as part of an effort to expand our nursery business, including Pinot Noir. Although we eventually decided that our nursery should remain focused solely on the Rhone grape varieties we grow, we planted two rows of Pinot Noir near our nursery to produce enough vine material for the 2.5 acre vineyard around founder Robert Haas's house in Templeton. The Templeton Gap has been long recognized for its marine influence and resulting microclimate that is the coolest in the Paso Robles AVA, and the Haas Vineyard is in one of the coolest pockets of Templeton, near Santa Rita Creek. This vineyard is farmed organically by the Tablas Creek Vineyard team.
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. The Haas Vineyard Pinot Noir was harvested in two picks in late September and early October.
The grapes were fermented in one-ton microfermenters using native yeasts. After pressing, the wine was moved into year-old Marcel Cadet 60-gallon barrels, for a hint of oak. The wine stayed on its lees, stirred occasionally, for a year and a half before being blended and bottled in April 2013.
The 2011 Full Circle shows shows a classic, vibrant Pinot Noir aromas of sweet spices, black tea, plum and earth. The mouth leads with loamy minerality and follows with purple fruit, good acids and granular tannins. Dark cherry, chalky minerality and spice linger on the finish. Drink now or over the next decade.
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 »