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The Tablas Creek Vineyard 2016 Le Complice, our first vintage of our first new blend in a decade, celebrates the kinship between Syrah and our newest red grape, Terret Noir. In French, Le Complice means, roughly, "partners in crime". Although Syrah is dark and Terret light, both share wild herby black spice, and Terret's high acids bolster Syrah's tendency toward stolidity. We added some Grenache for mid-palate fleshiness, and a touch of Roussanne, co-fermented with a Syrah lot we chose, came along for the ride.
The 2016 Le Complice has a nose like Syrah but with a dash of translucency: minty dark chocolate, spruce forest, juniper berry, and angostura bitters. The mouth is both deep and lifted, with black plum, baker's chocolate, Seville orange peel, and savory herbs. Dusty tannins come out on the finish. We don't know how this will age, but suspect it will drink well for two decades.
- Adelaida District Paso Robles
- 59% Syrah
- 20% Grenache
- 19% Terret Noir
- 2% Roussanne
- 14.1 Alcohol by Volume
- 750 Cases Produced
The grapes for our Le Complice were grown on our certified organic and biodynamic estate vineyard.
The 2016 vintage, while still marked by drought, saw better rainfall than the four previous years, and the vineyards showed good health through most of the growing season. That season started with a very early budbreak and continued warm weather spurred our earliest-ever beginning to harvest, on August 18th. But beginning mid-August, three cool weeks slowed the ripening for all but our earliest grapes, and allowed them to reach flavor and phenolic maturity with slightly above-average hang time. The resulting vintage shows excellent concentration but also remarkable vibrancy, with electric acids framing appealing juiciness.
The wine was blended in June of 2017, aged in foudre, bottled in April 2018, and aged in our cellars until release.