The 2013 Tablas Creek Vineyard Picpoul Blanc (also known as Piquepoul or Piquepoul Blanc in France) is Tablas Creek’s seventh 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 Languedoc. Derived from the French "piquer" (to sting), 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 have been so pleased with 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 2013 vintage was a classic California vintage, warm and sunny, with added intensity from the low yields produced by our second consecutive drought year. The summer was consistently warm, without the heat spikes or cold stretches that can delay ripening, and resulted in an early harvest under near-perfect conditions. The net result was a blockbuster vintage, with excellent concentration and good freshness, that should offer both early appeal and the capacity to age. Our Picpoul was harvested nearly a month earlier than normal, between September 5th and 16th.
The Picpoul grapes were whole cluster pressed, and fermented using native yeasts in a mix of stainless steel and small, mostly neutral, barrels to achieve a balance of freshness and richness. It completed malolactic fermentation in barrel, and was blended in April 2014 and bottled in May 2014.
The 2013 Picpoul Blanc shows exotic aromas of preserved lemon, sage, cedar, toasted coconut and mint. The mouth shows a similar balance between savory and fruitier notes, with flavors of lemon peel, watermelon rind, mineral, honeydew and plantain, and more citurs -- both leaf and flower -- lingering on the long finish.
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 »