The 2012 Tablas Creek Vineyard Petit Manseng is Tablas Creek’s third 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 2012 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 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 under ideal conditions, starting in early September and finishing in late October.
Our Petit Manseng was harvested on October 1st at 30.2° Brix and a pH of 3.28. We fermented it in a single barrel, and stopped its fermentation when it had about 42 grams/liter of sugar left and sat at an alcohol of 13.5%. 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 November, 2013.
The 2012 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.
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 »