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The 2017 Tablas Creek Vineyard Counoise is Tablas Creek’s eighth varietal bottling of this traditional blending grape from the Southern Rhone. The Counoise grape has an unusual combination of vibrant blue and purple fruit (blueberries and cranberries), sweet spice (nutmeg and cinnamon), light-to-medium body, bright acidity, ruby color, and soft tannin.
The 2017 Counoise shows a darker garnet color than recent years. On the nose, brambly tangy purple fruit that reminded me of elderberries, with additional aromas of meatiness and sweet spice. On the palate, very juicy with intense red cherry flavors and brambly spice, over a medium-bodied frame, with cherry skin and dusting of cocoa powder emerging on the finish. A crowd pleaser, and endlessly flexible with food. Enjoy it any time in the next six to eight years.
- Adelaida District Paso Robles
- 100% Counoise
- 14.2% Alcohol by Volume
- 530 Cases
Our Counoise grapes were grown on our certified organic and biodynamic estate vineyard. We typically use most of this Counoise in our Esprit de Tablas and Côtes de Tablas wines. However, in years when Counoise spends an unusually long time on the vine, it achieves enough concentration to balance its exuberant fruit, spice and acidity and we bottle it on its own.
The 2017 vintage saw our drought end with a bang, as we received 43 inches of rain and saw our rainiest month ever in January. The wet soils delayed budbreak to a normal time frame, and produced such a healthy vineyard that we saw canopy sizes and cane lengths we hadn’t seen in years. The summer began relatively cool, but was punctuated by two heat spikes, one in early July and the other in late August, that accelerated ripening and produced intense flavors. The resulting vintage shows the health of the vines with a combination of concentration and freshness, with bright acids framing powerful fruit.
The Counoise grapes were destemmed and fermented in closed-top stainless steel fermenters using only native yeasts. After two weeks, the grapes were pressed, moved to foudre, and bottled -- under screwcap, to preserve its brightness -- in April of 2019.