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.
Tablas Creek will join the 50 members of the Paso Robles Chapter of the Rhone Rangers for the 2016 Paso Robles Rhone Rangers Experience. This fun-filled and information-rich day will include a "Rhone Essentials" seminar moderated by Esther Mobley, Wine, Beer & Spirits Writer for the San Francisco Chronicle, a Vintners' Lunch, and the Grand Tasting and Silent Auction. For more information or to purchase tickets, click here.
In Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue 220) 15 Tablas wines topped 90 points, including 2014 Esprit de Tablas (93-96), 2013 Panoplie (94-96), and 2014 Panoplie (95-97). Read the review » More press »
February 11, 2016
By Robert Haas
In 2002 my son Jason, fresh from a stint in the east coast’s tech world, arrived in Paso Robles and started working at Tablas Creek, focusing initially on our marketing and increasingly on our management. Although Jason has taken over the day-to-day operations here, I'm still working because I enjoy our working together. It's fun. His leadership here and his accomplishments at the vineyard and in the community delight me. Read More »