The 2016 Tablas Creek Vineyard Picpoul Blanc (also known as Piquepoul or Piquepoul Blanc in France) is Tablas Creek’s ninth bottling -- and first since 2014 -- of this traditional Southern Rhône varietal, used in Châteauneuf du Pape as a blending component, and best known from the crisp light green wines of the Pinet Region in the Languedoc. Derived from the French "piquer" (to sting), in France the grape is known for its bright acidity, its minerality, and a clean lemony flavor. We have found that in California, it maintains its bright acidity, but also develops an appealing tropical lushness.
Picpoul Blanc was the first supplementary varietal we brought into the country after the initial eight varietals. It went into quarantine in 1996, and was released in 1998. The first vines went into the ground in 2000. We were so pleased with the varietal that in the winter of 2005-2006 we tripled our planted acreage (from 1 to 3 acres). Our Picpoul grapes were grown on our certified organic estate vineyard.
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 Picpoul was harvested between September 23rd and 29th.
The Picpoul grapes were whole cluster pressed, and fermented using native yeasts in a mix of stainless steel and neutral 60-gallon oak barrels to achieve a balance of freshness and richness. It completed malolactic fermentation in barrel, and bottled in June 2017.
The 2016 Picpoul Blanc is spicy and powerful on the nose, with Meyer lemon, watermelon, crushed rock, and a rich yeasty note. The palate shows flavors of grilled lemon, fresh mango, sweet baking spices, and saline minerality. The acids build in the mouth and the wine finishes with lingering flavors of wet rocks and lemon zest. Drink now and over the next few 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 »