The 2016 Tablas Creek Vineyard Viognier is our seventh bottling, and our first since 2013, of the Rhone's best-known white grape. The Viognier grape, known more from the northern Rhone than the area around Chateauneuf du Pape, sprouts first of all our grapes, making it the most prone to frost, but was spared in 2016 and thrived in the year's warm days and cool nights.
Our Viognier grapes were grown on our certified organic estate vineyard.
We use most of our Viognier in our Côtes de Tablas Blanc each year. However, in 2016, we were so pleased by our Viognier lots that we reserved a small quantity of Viognier for a single-varietal bottling
The 2016 vintage, while still marked by drought, saw better rainfall than the four previous years, and the vineyard showed good health through most of the growing season. That season started with a very early budbreak and continued warm weather spurred our earliest-ever beginning to harvest, on August 18th. But beginning mid-August, three cool weeks slowed the ripening for all but our earliest grapes, and allowed them to reach flavor and phenolic maturity with slightly above-average hang time. Yields were better than 2015: at 2.97 tons/acre, right at our 10-year average. The resulting vintage shows excellent concentration but also remarkable vibrancy, with electric acids framing appealing juiciness. Our Viognier was harvested between August 18th and September 5th.
The Viognier grapes were whole cluster pressed and fermented in stainless steel tanks using native yeasts, then blended and bottled in June 2017.
The 2016 Viognier shows a characteristic nose of peaches, mint, coconut and tangerine. Essence of stone fruit on the palate, more nectarine in its restraint than the cling peaches many Viogniers exhibit. Good richness but still light on its feet, with the peaches and cream on the finish undercut by a welcome touch of citrus pith. Drink in the next five years.
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 »