The Tablas Creek Vineyard 2014 Terret Noir is the second varietal bottling of this unique estate-grown varietal, propagated from budwood cuttings from the Château de Beaucastel estate.
Terret Noir is a little-known blending grape from the south of France; in addition to being one of the permitted grapes in Chateauneuf du Pape, it was once (before 1850) the most planted variety in the departement of Herault. The half-acre that we planted here in Paso Robles is California's first. Terret Noir is a large-berried grape that produces wines with pale color, good acidity, and a spicy, floral, earthy wildness. While we expect to ultimately use it in our red blends, with these early vintages, we are exploring what our 1904-edition French ampelography calls its "qualities of lightness, freshness, and bouquet".
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 luscious and powerful young, but with the balance to age. We harvested our Terret Noir on October 7th, roughly a week before the end of harvest.
The Terret Noir grapes were grown on our certified organic estate vineyard.
The fruit was destemmed and fermented on the skins for two weeks in a 1-ton microfermenter, punched down twice daily, to extract maximum flavor from this thin-skinned grape. Only native yeasts we used. After three weeks, the berries were pressed and this was combined with the free run juice into four 60-gallon neutral French oak barrels. It aged there until we bottled it -- early, to capture maximum freshness --in June of 2015.
The 2014 Terret Noir is a pale garnet color, with a spicy, lifted nose of dried herbs and wild strawberries. On the palate it shows a persistence surprising for such a pale red wine, with crunchy red fruit like pomegranates and red currants, complex notes of black tea and dried roses, good acids, and some grippy tannins on the finish. We have no idea how it will age, but think it's lovely lightly chilled with a charcuterie plate right now.
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 15, 2017
By Suphada Rom
Brad Ely, a native of the Central Coast, has found his way back to the area after several years of travel and cellar experience, taking him from the far reaches of Australia and New Zealand all the way to Washington state and the Rhone Valley. I sat down with him recently to talk all things travel, winemaking, and what makes Tablas Creek special to him. Read More »