2014 Picpoul Blanc: Featured Wine for May
Each month, we pick an "under the radar" wine that we feel is showing particularly well, and offer it at a 10% discount for the duration of the feature. This discount is in addition to any discounts offered by club membership, case purchases, etc. This month's feature is our floral, tropical, saline Picpoul Blanc... a small production varietal bottling of a classic blending grape from the southern Rhone. The Picpoul Blanc feature ends June 1st. Shop »
The 2014 Tablas Creek Vineyard Picpoul Blanc (also known as Piquepoul or Piquepoul Blanc in France) is Tablas Creek’s eighth 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 certified organic estate vineyard.
The 2014 vintage was our third consecutive drought year and saw our earliest-ever beginning to the growing season. The summer was warm but without serious heat spikes, and our coolest August in a decade slowed ripening at a critical period. When it warmed back up in September, the fruit tumbled in, and we finished in mid-October, about two weeks earlier than normal. The result was a vintage with excellent concentration balanced by good freshness, which should be vibrant and powerful young, but with the balance to age. Our picpoul was harvested between September 17th and October 6th.
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 2015 and bottled in June 2015.
The 2014 Picpoul Blanc has a mostly savory nose of watermelon rind, dried pineapple, green herbs, white flowers and lemon peel. The mouth is exuberant by comparison, richly tangy with pineapple juice and sweet baking spices, bright acids, and saline minerality, with a long finish of fresh mango and crushed rocks. Drink now and over the next few years.
July 2nd - 9th, 2017
We’re excited to be returning to the Mediterranean in the summer of 2017 to host a Rhone River cruise aboard the wonderful Uniworld ship S.S. Catherine. Partner Jason Haas, with his wife Meghan, and Executive Winemaker Neil Collins, with his wife Marci, will host this 8-day cruise from Avignon to Lyon. For all the details, and to book, visit our travel partners' Web site at foodandwinetrails.com/tablascreek2017 or call Food & Wine Trails at (800) 367-5348. We hope that you will join us!
In Antonio Galloni's Vinous (Sept. 2016) 28 Tablas wines topped 90 points, including 2014 Esprit Blanc (93), 2013 Panoplie (95), 2014 Patelin de Tablas (91) and 2014 En Gobelet (93). Read the review » More press »
May 09, 2017
Last week, Francois Perrin joined me, my dad, Neil, Chelsea, Craig, Brad and Jordan around the blending table as we took our first comprehensive look at the reds from 2016. Coming into the blending, we'd only looked in detail at the whites, which were super. But reds often tell a different story. I'm happy to report that this year, they look as strong as the whites. And, for the first time in 7 years, we got to make a new wine. See if you can spot it: Read More »