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.
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 are thrilled that both our 2013 Dianthus and 2013 Patelin de Tablas Rosé received 91 points from Wine Advocate, as well as recommendations from the Wine Spectator and from the New York Times. We expect both to be out of stock by August, so if you want some, act soon. Order » Browse recent press »
July 25, 2014
By Robert Haas
Two old northern Rhône wines with our roast pork loin last night reminded me of the pleasures of the Rhône River. Barbara and I are very much looking forward to joining Neil and Marcy and sharing our experience with our fellow cruise guests next August. Read More »