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The Tablas Creek Vineyard 2017 Le Complice is just the second vintage of our first new blend in a decade, celebrating the kinship (Le Complice means, roughly, "partners in crime") between Syrah (67%) and our newest red grape, Terret Noir (12%). 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 (21%) for mid-palate fleshiness.
94 Points; "Silky tannins add shape to a very long, focused finish": Vinous (Feb. 2020)
92 Points; "...beautiful texture." purely domestic wine report (Jan. 2020)
92 Points; "medium to full-bodied with restrained fruits and oodles of savory nuances, with a firm frame of chewy tannins and good freshness, finishing long with herb-laced berries.": Wine Advocate (Oct. 2019)
Syrah-driven darkness on the nose: iron, pencil lead, and black fruit, with a pickling spice note of bay, green peppercorn, and star anise that I think came from Terret. The mouth is meaty, like Korean ribs, with dark fruit of dates and figs. The rich texture continues on to the finish, with savory notes of soy, balsamic, and fig. We don't know for sure, but suspect it will drink well for two decades.
Watch Chelsea and the Shepherd discuss the wine: Tasting 2017 Le Complice with Chelsea and the Shepherd.
- Adelaida District Paso Robles
- 67% Syrah
- 20% Grenache
- 13% Terret Noir
- 14.3% Alcohol by Volume
- 880 Cases Produced
The grapes for our Le Complice were grown on our certified organic and biodynamic estate vineyard.
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 wine was blended in June of 2018, aged in foudre, bottled in April 2019, and aged in our cellars until release.