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.
Oct 20th-22nd, 2017
Celebrate Paso Robles Harvest Wine Weekend with Tablas Creek. Join us in the tasting room all weekend for a first look at our flagship wines from the 2015 vintage: 2015 Esprit de Tablas and 2015 Esprit de Tablas Blanc. We will also of course have open a range of small-production treats. If you’re interested in an in-depth exploration of the property, tours will run daily at 10:30am and 2:00pm (except Saturday *see below*) and reservations are recommended.
On Saturday, join us in the cellar at Tablas Creek for a series of interactive harvest cellar tours throughout the day, led by our Winemakers. Guests on these tours will sample wines in various stages of the winemaking process and learn about the 2017 harvest and winemaking at Tablas Creek. Tours will be offered 10:30, 12:00, 2:00 and 3:30 (limited to 20 guests per tour), are free to all guests, and reservations are highly recommended. Also, we’ll have live music by the incredibly talented Noach Tangeras band playing Americana style folk tunes from noon to 3:00pm.
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 »
July 23, 2017
I returned on Wednesday from three weeks away to a significantly changed vineyard landscape. When I left, we were through flowering but many of the grape berries were still pea sized, bright green, and hard. It looked like early summer. Fast forward three weeks and the grapes are much more mature. While almost all the grapes are still green, many varieties are full-sized. The white grapes -- except for Roussanne -- don't look all that different than they will at harvest. And, when I got to the Syrah block, I found veraison. Read More »