The 2005 Tablas Creek Vineyard Counoise is Tablas Creek’s second varietal bottling of this traditional blending varietal from the Southern Rhone. The Counoise grape has an unusual combination of lush blue and purple fruit (blueberries and cranberries), sweet spice (nutmeg and cinnamon), light-to-medium body, bright acidity, pale ruby color, and very little tannin.
We typically use all our Counoise in our Esprit de Beaucastel and Côtes de Tablas wines. However, in 2005, we had an unusually large, unusually intense Counoise harvest, which allowed us to make our first varietal Counoise since 2002.
Our Counoise grapes were grown on our 120-acre certified organic estate vineyard.
The 2005 vintage was one of nature’s lucky breaks, with excellent quality and higher-than-normal yields. The wet winter of ’04–’05 gave the grapevines ample groundwater, and a warm period in March got the vines off to an early May flowering. The summer was uniformly sunny but relatively cool, and harvest began (relatively late for us) in the 3rd week of September under perfect warm, sunny skies. Due to the extended ripening, the grapes spent nearly a month longer than normal on the vines. The Counoise, as usual one of our latest ripeners, was harvested between October 28th and November 3rd.
The Counoise grapes are fermented using two processes. Half the grapes are destemmed and fermented in closed-top fermenters, and the other half are placed, clusters intact, in closed tanks to undergo carbonic maceration. All wines ferment using native yeasts. The wines were pressed after 4 weeks, blended and moved to a mix of small stainless steel tanks and one 1200-gallon foudre. The wine was bottled young and in screwcap in January 2007 to capture its youthful fruit and spice, and released to our VINsider wine club members in March 2007.
The 2005 Counoise is light ruby in color, with an aromatic nose of figs, boysenberry and spice. In the mouth, it is medium-bodied, with purple and red fruit flavors and refreshing acidity. Drink this wine young: in the first year or two.
Join founders Robert and Barbara Haas and Winemaker Neil Collins on an intimate river cruise up the Rhone Valley from Avignon to Lyon August 2-9, 2015. Daily shore tours include a behind-the-scenes visit to Chateau de Beaucastel. Details »
We were thrilled to receive such good reviews from this notoriously tough grader, including the 2012 Esprit de Tablas Blanc (92 points; “impeccably refined”), 2011 Panoplie (94 points; "pure elegance"), 2012 Patelin de Tablas (90 points; “a gorgeous wine and a fabulous value”), and the 2012 Esprit de Tablas (93-95 points; "a fascinating Esprit to follow over the coming years"). Read the complete review » More recent press »
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