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The 2018 Grenache is Tablas Creek’s tenth varietal bottling of the signature grape of the southern Rhone Valley. The wine shows the bright fruit and exuberant spice of the Grenache Noir grape, both highlighted by the lively acidity and minerality from the cool, slow-ripening 2018 vintage.
94 points; "one of the great Grenache releases I’ve had from this region": Owen Bargreen (Nov. 2020)
97 points; "perfectly balanced with a opulent texture ... at $35 a bottle it's a steal": BevX (Nov. 2020)
94 Points; "One of the more classic examples.": Purely Domestic Wine Report (Oct. 2020)
91 points; "cherry and plum fruit with bright tannins and spice, fresh and juicy and long": Blue Lifestyle (Oct. 2020)
Outstanding Plus; "elegant and harmonious with great early appeal": Undergound WineLetter (Oct. 2020)
The 2018 Grenache is a pretty medium red, with a powerful nose of cherry jam, black pepper, rare steak and minty spice. The mouth shows sweet black cherry fruit balanced by vibrant plum skin acids and chewy tannins, with a sweet tobacco note coming out on the finish. Good acids and the youthful Grenache tannins promise a decade or more of ageworthiness.
Watch Chelsea and the Shepherd discuss the wine: 2018 Grenache Tasting with Chelsea and the Shepherd
- Adelaida District Paso Robles
- 100% Grenache
- 14.1% Alcohol by Volume
- 1160 Cases Produced
Recipes & Pairings
- Grilled steaks
- Pastas with meat sauces
- Rich beef stews
- Spicy sausages
We use most of our Grenache in our Esprit de Tablas and Côtes de Tablas blends each year. However, we feel that this is a grape whose bright fruit, spice and acidity lends itself well to bottling as a single-varietal wine as well. Grenache seems to improve more dramatically with vine age than any other grape we grow, and although we didn't produce our first single-varietal Grenache bottling until 2006, we have made one most years since.
The grapes for our 2018 Grenache were grown on our certified organic and biodynamic estate vineyard.
The 2018 vintage saw an almost ideal balance of vine health and stress, as is often the case with the first dry year after a very wet one. Although rainfall was just 70% of normal, the rains came late, delaying the onset of bud-break and the beginning of the growing season. The cool weather continued most of the year, punctuated by a six-week heat wave in July and early August. But temperatures moderated before picking began, and harvest proceeded under slightly cooler than normal conditions, allowing us to pick without stress and producing fruit (and wines) with intense flavors and good balancing acidity.
Grenache was one of the stars of the cool 2018 vintage, producing lots with lifted fruit, lots of peppery spice, and a little tannic bite that suggests it will produce wines that can age gracefully. For our varietal bottling we as usual chose lots that emphasized Grenache's freshness and avoided riper lots that tend toward higher alcohols. The lots were blended in June 2019 and aged in neutral 1200-gallon oak foudres until bottling in May 2020.