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.
Join us for the Paso Robles Wine Community's biggest celebration! We'll pour Esprit de Beaucastel at Friday's Reserve Event and a range of new releases at Saturday's Grand Tasting. And all weekend we'll have special wines open at the winery and will be taking tours to visit our herd of sheep, alpacas and donkeys. Sunday 11am to 1:30pm enjoy Chef Jacob Lovejoy's small plates, free with a tasting. Details & more events »
In May, we're featuring our 2011 Cotes de Tablas Blanc at a 10% discount. In 2011, our Viognier crop was cut by 80% due to spring frost, leaving a tiny, intense yield of less than one-half a ton per acre. The resulting wine is rich and tropical, with stone fruits and honey, but at the same time firmly dry, with a very long, saline & mineral finish. Details »
May 15, 2013
Take a look at the seven-line entry of Frank Schoonmaker, America’s foremost wine expert and author in 1964, about terroir. His association, rather than the "somewhereness" the wine exhibits, is more of a taste of dirt, neither elegant nor elevated: "somewhat unpleasant, common, persistent”. My, how things have changed. More »