The 2015 Tablas Creek Vineyard Petit Manseng is Tablas Creek’s sixth bottling of this traditional grape from southwest France. Petit Manseng is best known from the appellation of Jurancon, where it has made admired but not widely disseminated sweet wines for centuries. Petit Manseng achieves sufficient concentration and sugar content -- and maintains its acids sufficiently -- to make naturally sweet, balanced wines without botrytis. This character was so valued that Petit Manseng is noted as the only wine to have been used to baptize a king of France: Henry IV, the founder of the Bourbon dynasty, in his native Navarre.
We imported Petit Manseng in 2003 in the hopes of making a naturally sweet wine. The vines were released to us in 2006, and our first small vineyard block was planted in 2007. Over time, we have come to the conclusion that Petit Manseng is best used for off-dry wines: wines with residual sugar but less than our sweet Vin de Paille wines, with the grape's notably bright acids providing balance.
Our Petit Manseng grapes were grown on our certified organic estate vineyard.
The 2015 vintage saw dramatically reduced yields from the combined effects of four years of drought and cool, unsettled weather during May's flowering. Months alternated between significantly cooler than normal and significantly warmer than normal, which produced an early start to harvest but required multiple passes through most vineyard blocks during a long, drawn-out picking season. Yields were down as much as 50% in early-ripening grapes like Viognier, while later grapes like Roussanne were only down slightly. The result was a vintage with excellent concentration but unusually good acids, and wines with dramatic perfume, texture, and intensity.
Our Petit Manseng was harvested on September 25th at 28° Brix and a pH of 3.28. We fermented it in barrel, and stopped its fermentation when it had about 82.4 grams/liter of sugar left and sat at an alcohol of 13.3%. The high acidity makes it taste much drier than the sugar reading would suggest. The wine was aged on its lees in barrel and bottled in July, 2016.
The 2015 Petit Manseng is bright and mineral on the nose, with aromas of key lime, lychee, chalk, and tarragon. On the palate, sweet but with bracing acidity too: flavors of candied grapefruit, nectarine, and spun sugar, with a citrus pith bite cleaning up the long, appealingly sweet-tangy finish. We expect it to age beautifully.
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 »