The 2005 Tablas Creek Vineyard Vin de Paille “Quintessence” is Tablas Creek’s reserve bottling of this traditional Mediterranean technique for producing dessert wines. Ripe grape bunches are carefully laid down on straw-covered benches in our greenhouses, and allowed to dehydrate in the sun. When the grapes reach the desired concentration, we press them and move the juice to oak barrels for fermentation. The juice ferments until it reaches an alcohol level where the sweetness of the juice is balanced by the acids and mineral characteristics of the wine itself.
The grapes for our Vin de Paille were grown on our 120-acre certified organic estate vineyard.
In 2005, we dried all four of our white Rhône grapes (Roussanne, Viognier, Marsanne, and Grenache Blanc) on straw in our greenhouses. We then pressed the grapes and fermented the wines separately. By the middle of the winter, it was clear to us that two barrels of the Roussanne were distinctly different than the other three grapes, with tremendous richness and (we suspected) great longevity. When we blended our 2005 Vin de Paille blend, we held out these two barrels to give them another year in our cellar to evolve, and bottled it as Vin de Paille “Quintessence”.
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. The grapes spent nearly a month longer than normal on the vine, and the resulting wines were intensely mineral, with good structure and powerful aromatics. We harvested the Roussanne for our Vin de Paille in one day on November 18th.
The wine, after pressing, was aged in a new French oak barrel for 22 months before being bottled in June of 2007. It was released in December of 2007, after an additional six months in bottle.
The 2005 Vin de Paille “Quintessence” has a beautiful nose of maple syrup, caramel and ripe apricots, with flavors of honey, spice and pear, good balancing acidity and an exceptionally long finish.
Even though we don’t produce Zinfandel, we’ll be celebrating Vintage Paso (formerly Zinfandel Festival) the weekend of March 20th. In celebration of California’s heritage grapes, we’ll focus on the dry-farmed, head-trained vines of Tablas Creek and lead short forays into the vineyard to discuss the impact of farming without irrigation. You’ll even get to taste the 2012 En Gobelet among the vines which produced it. Details & More Events »
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 »
In August, Antonio Galloni published the results of his annual visit to Tablas Creek, and we were excited to receive such good reviews from this notoriously tough grader. Notes included 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 »
March 1, 2015
It seems like progress in direct shipping goes in waves. There's a small flurry of movement, in states widely separated in geography and culture, and then a period when nothing much happens. Then, for whatever reason, progress starts back up. Read More »