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.
Since 2007, we have made our En Gobelet exclusively from dry-farmed, head-trained vineyard blocks. The results have been so compelling that we're planning to plant our entire new parcel -- all 55 acres -- in this style over the coming decade. Join us for this vertical tasting of every vintage of En Gobelet, from the 2007 to the newly-blended 2014. We'll also offer, before the tasting, an optional hike led by Viticulturist Levi Glenn through the rugged Scruffy Hill block from which we source most of the wine, and finish with a picnic lunch on our patio. $60 for wine club members and $75 for guests. Reservations are essential; we expect this to sell out. To reserve, email us at email@example.com or call us at 805.237.1231 ext 30. Details & More Events »
We are thrilled to announce that we've received our shipping permit from the great state of Massachusetts. Residents of the Bay State can now order wine or become VINsider Wine Club members. More shipping news »
In August, Antonio Galloni published the results of his annual visit to Tablas Creek, and we were excited to receive such good reviews from this notoriously tough grader. Notes included the 2012 Esprit de Tablas Blanc (92 points; “impeccably refined”), 2011 Panoplie (94 points; "pure elegance"), 2012 Patelin de Tablas (90 points; “a gorgeous wine and a fabulous value”), and the 2012 Esprit de Tablas (93-95 points; "a fascinating Esprit to follow over the coming years"). Read the complete review » More recent press »
May 26, 2015
I was struck by a quote from Tegan Passalaqua, the winemaker at Turley, in a recent article on JancisRobinson.com. In an interview with Alder Yarrow, Tegan said "In a Mediterranean climate like we have, vertical shoot positioning and 3 by 6 vineyard spacing is basically farming hydroponically".
Hydroponic farming, with its overtones of bland supermarket tomatoes, seems an unlikely candidate to provide the intensity and ripeness that a winemaker would expect from California. But in its essence, that the farmer is providing everything that a plant needs to bear fruit, I don't think he's far off. It's worth taking a few moments to understand how grapevines came to be so widely irrigated in California. Read More »