The Tablas Creek Vineyard 2015 Terret Noir is the third 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 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 and Syrah, but later grapes like Mourvedre and 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 Terret Noir was harvested on October 8th.
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 two 60-gallon stainless steel barrels. It aged there until we bottled it -- early, to capture maximum freshness -- in April of 2017.
The 2015 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 25, 2017
By Jordan Lonborg
For those of you who garden, have fruit trees, a few grapevines, or even a vineyard, pocket gophers can be your nemesis. They will burrow in your garden, sometimes taking entire plants underground with them. The will feast on feeder roots of young trees and/or vines, killing the plant. A garden, orchard, or vineyard is paradise to the pocket gopher. They have water (from irrigation) and an actively growing root system as a food source. We may have lost close to 500 one-year-old vines last year due to gophers. Read More »