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The 2018 Tablas Creek Vineyard Vin de Paille “Quintessence” is Tablas Creek’s our first reserve bottling since 2010 of this traditional Mediterranean technique for producing dessert wines. Ripe grape bunches are carefully laid down on straw-covered benches in our greenhouses, and allowed to dehydrate in the sun. When the grapes reach the desired concentration, we press them and move the juice to oak barrels for fermentation. The juice ferments until it reaches an alcohol level where the sweetness of the juice is balanced by the acids and mineral characteristics of the wine itself. The Quintessence is a selection of the single most impressive Roussanne barrel from the year's Vin de Paille lots, held an extra year in the cellar in a new French oak barrel and allowed to deepen and caramelize.
96 points; "Lush and broad on the palate, offering intensely sweet apricot, poached pear, honeycomb and vanilla pastry flavors and a strong jolt of spiciness": Vinous (Dec. 2020)
91 points; "The palate is full and sweet... packed with spicy flavors and finishing long with just enough freshness.": Wine Advocate (Oct. 2020)
The 2018 Vin de Paille “Quintessence” has a beautiful nose of candied orange peel, caramel, vanilla custard, and star anise. On the palate, concentrated flavors of creme caramel, crystallized mango, sweet spice, and wildflower honey. A little pithy bite comes out on the finish, which combines with the vintage's signature acidity to keep the long, rich finish clean. We expect it to drink well for decades.
- Adelaida District
- 100% Roussanne
- Sugar at Pressing: 472 g/L
- Residual Sugar: 104 g/L
- 12.1% Alcohol by Volume
- 50 Cases Produced
Recipes & Pairings
- Crème Brulée
- Dried Fruit
- Tarte Tatin
- Aged Blue Cheeses
The grapes for our Vin de Paille were grown on our 120-acre certified organic 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.
We harvested the Roussanne for our Vin de Paille on October 19th. It spent roughly two weeks on straw in our greenhouses, and was brought into the cellar for pressing on November 2nd. The wine, after pressing, was moved to 60-gallon French oak barrels, and after 6 months we chose the lushest, most impressive barrel for an additional 7 months aging in a new French oak barrel. The single barrel for our Vin de Paille "Quintessence" was bottled in December of 2019.