The 2010 Tablas Creek Vineyard Petit Manseng is Tablas Creek’s first bottling of this traditional grape from southwest France. Petit Manseng is best known from appellation of Jurancon, where it has made admired but not widely disseminated sweet wines for centuries. Petit Manseng achieves sufficient concentration and sugar content to make naturally sweet wines without botrytis. This character was so valued that Petit Manseng is noted as the only wine used to baptize a king of France: Henry IV, the founder of the Bourbon dynasty, in his native Navarre.
The 2010 Petit Manseng is rich but tangy, perfumed and tropical. It has flavors of pineapple, ginger, mango, papaya and honey, as well as white flowers and spice. It is lightly sweet but shows excellent freshness, and we expect it to age gracefully for at least a decade.
- 100% Petit Manseng
- 50 g/l residual sugar
- 13.5% alcohol by volume
- 25 cases produced
Recipes & Pairings
- Foie gras
- Salty cheeses
- Fruit desserts
- Spicy Thai and Indian curries
We imported Petit Manseng in 2003 in the hopes of making a naturally sweet wine. The vines were released to us in 2006, and our first small vineyard block was planted in 2007. In 2010 we harvested enough fruit for a single barrel of wine. Our Petit Manseng grapes were grown on our 120-acre certified organic estate vineyard.
The 2010 vintage saw healthy rainfall after three years of drought. The ample early-season groundwater and a lack of spring frosts produced a good fruit set. A very cool summer delayed ripening by roughly three weeks, with harvest not beginning until mid-September and still less than half complete in mid-October. Warm, sunny weather between mid-October and mid-November allowed the later-ripening varieties to reach full maturity, and the long hangtime and cool temperatures combined to produce fruit with intense flavors and vibrant acidities.
Our Petit Manseng was harvested in mid-October at 26.2° Brix and a pH of 3.10. We fermented it in a single barrel, and stopped its fermentation when it had about 50 grams/liter of sugar left and sat at an alcohol of 13.5%. The very high acidity makes it taste much drier than the sugar reading would suggest. The wine was aged on its lees in barrel and bottled in June, 2011.