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.
Join founders Robert and Barbara Haas and Winemaker Neil Collins on an intimate river cruise up the Rhone Valley from Avignon to Lyon August 2-9, 2015. Daily shore tours include a behind-the-scenes visit to Chateau de Beaucastel. Details »
We were thrilled to receive such good reviews from this notoriously tough grader, including 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 »
August 18, 2014
Last month I was surprised to read a headline on the industry portal Wine Industry Network titled Direct to Consumer Sales Fails to Lift the Wine Industry. As a winery whose business model works only because of direct sales, I was curious to learn more... Read More »