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.
Aug 27th, 2017, 10:30 am to 1:30 pm
One of the highlights of our year is the day when we taste back through all the back vintages of the red Esprit de Beaucastel/Tablas. (We’ve written up the results of these tastings for our blog most recently in 2014) We are excited to open up this opportunity to our fans. Taste eight vintages of Esprit de Beaucastel and Esprit de Tablas, from our first-ever 2000 to our newly-bottled 2015, and discuss the wine's development over time. We'll conclude the event with a lunch, during which we'll share another recent Esprit vintage.
Seats at this unique opportunity are $80 for VINsiders and $105 for guests, and the event will be limited to 75 people. To reserve, contact our events team at email@example.com or 805.237.1231 x236.
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 »
June 15, 2017
By Jordan Lonborg
As of now I am sure you are all aware of the phenomenal winter we experienced in California. The snow pack in the Sierras is record setting. Lakes and reservoirs are at capacity in the northern two-thirds of the state. Mammoth Mountain is expecting to be open through July (and possibly the entire year). Lastly, our beloved Senior Assistant Winemaker, Chelsea Franchi, will reach her personal goal of skiing 40 days this season (you read that right) even as a weekend warrior. Read More »