2017 Petit Manseng
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The 2017 Tablas Creek Vineyard Petit Manseng is Tablas Creek’s eighth bottling of this traditional grape from southwest France. Petit Manseng is best known from the appellation of Jurancon, where it has made admired but not widely disseminated sweet wines for centuries. Petit Manseng achieves sufficient concentration and sugar content -- and maintains its acids sufficiently -- to make naturally sweet, balanced wines without botrytis. This character was so valued that Petit Manseng is noted as the only wine to have been used to baptize a king of France: Henry IV, the founder of the Bourbon dynasty, in his native Navarre.
The 2017 Petit Manseng is bright and mineral on the nose, with aromas of key lime, lychee, chalk, and tarragon. On the palate, sweet but with bracing acidity too: flavors of candied grapefruit, nectarine, and spun sugar, with a citrus pith bite cleaning up the long, appealingly sweet-tangy finish. We expect it to age beautifully.
View tasting notes on the Tablas Creek YouTube page: 2017 Petit Manseng Tasting with Chelsea and the Shepherd
- Adelaida District Paso Robles
- 100% Petit Manseng
- 14.4% Alcohol by Volume
- 62 g/L Residual Sugar
- 172 500ml 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. Over time, we have come to the conclusion that Petit Manseng is best used for off-dry wines: wines with residual sugar but less than our sweet Vin de Paille wines, with the grape's notably bright acids providing balance.
Our Petit Manseng grapes 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.
Our Petit Manseng was harvested at 28° Brix and a pH of 2.99. We fermented it in barrel, and stopped its fermentation when it had about 62 grams/liter of sugar left and sat at an alcohol of 14.4%. The 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 2018.