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.
Hundreds of you have joined us for one of our annual blending seminars over the years. If you haven’t yet, let this be the year. Partner Jason Haas and winemaker Neil Collins will lead a barrel tasting of the individual varietals (both reds and whites), and will discuss how we turn roughly one hundred components into the blends and varieties we make each year. Then, you will be set loose with graduated cylinders to produce your own blends. Details & More Events »
From now through the end of April, we will ship any wine order, of any quantiy, to anywhere we ship, for just $10. Cheers! Details & more news »
We are thrilled to announce that we've received our shipping permit from the great state of Massachusetts. Residents of the Bay State can now order wine or become VINsider Wine Club members. More shipping news »
April 15, 2015
Ten days ago, I was convinced that we were going to get clobbered by frost in the aftermath of a cold, wet Pacific storm. All the conditions were in place...And yet we made it through. It dropped into the low- to mid-30s eight of the first ten days of April... Read More »