The 2006 Tablas Creek Vineyard Vin de Paille “Quintessence” is Tablas Creek’s reserve bottling of this traditional Mediterranean technique for producing dessert wines. Ripe grape bunches are carefully laid down on straw-covered benches in our greenhouses, and allowed to dehydrate in the sun. When the grapes reach the desired concentration, we press them and move the juice to oak barrels for fermentation. The juice ferments until it reaches an alcohol level where the sweetness of the juice is balanced by the acids and mineral characteristics of the wine itself.
The grapes for our Vin de Paille were grown on our 120-acre certified organic estate vineyard.
In 2006, we dried all four of our white Rhone grapes (Roussanne, Viognier, Marsanne, and Grenache Blanc) on straw in our greenhouses. We then pressed the grapes and fermented the wines separately. By the middle of the winter, it was clear to us that one barrel of the Roussanne was distinctly different than the rest, with tremendous richness and (we suspected) great longevity. When we blended our 2006 Vin de Paille blend, we held out this barrel to give it another year in our cellar to evolve, and bottled it as Vin de Paille “Quintessence”.
The 2006 vintage was a study of contrasts, with a cold, wet start, a very hot early summer, a cool late summer and a warm, beautiful fall. Ample rainfall in late winter gave the grapevines ample groundwater, and produced relatively generous crop sizes. The relatively cool late-season temperatures resulted in a delayed but unhurried harvest, wines with lower than normal alcohols, strong varietal character, and good acids. We harvested the Roussanne for our Vin de Paille in one day on October 11th.
The wine, after pressing, was aged in a new French oak barrel for 22 months before being bottled in June of 2008. It was released in February of 2009, after an additional eight months in bottle.
The 2006 Vin de Paille “Quintessence” has a beautiful nose of maple syrup, caramel and ripe apricots, with remarkably concentrated flavors of honey, spice and pear, good balancing acidity and an exceptionally long finish. We expect it to drink well for decades.
Hundreds of you have joined us for one of our annual blending seminars over the years. If you haven’t yet, let this be the year. Partner Jason Haas and winemaker Neil Collins will lead a barrel tasting of the individual varietals (both reds and whites), and will discuss how we turn roughly one hundred components into the blends and varieties we make each year. Then, you will be set loose with graduated cylinders to produce your own blends. Details & More Events »
From now through the end of April, we will ship any wine order, of any quantiy, to anywhere we ship, for just $10. Cheers! Details & more news »
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 »
By Darren Delmore
April 25, 2015
In June 2007 I bought a Tablas Creek Roussanne vine from the tasting room and planted it in my mom’s backyard in Pismo Beach. Her house is in a gated community a block from the chilly Pacific Ocean (Bakersfield Beach AVA?). Because I was a vagabond cellar hand at the time... Read More »