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.
The Tablas Creek tasting room will be open exclusively for our VINsider Club Members to celebrate our Spring VINsider Wine Club shipment Sunday, April 13th. VINsiders are invited to come to one of four sessions (10:30am, noon, 1:30pm or 3:00pm) at which we'll taste the wines in the recent shipment paired with small bites prepared by Chef Jeff Scott. Read More »
The Rhone Rangers organization will make its second annual Lifetime Achievement Award on Saturday, April 5, 2014 to recognize Robert Haas, Partner and Founder, Tablas Creek Vineyard. Read More»
By Robert Haas
March 7, 2014
Congratulations to Jean-Pierre and François Perrin,"Men of the Year" in the current issue of the venerable English wine magazine, Decanter. I cannot think of any French wine family with better credentials. We love them. More »