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The Tablas Creek Vineyard 2019 Côtes de Tablas Blanc is a blend of four estate-grown white Rhône varietals. The wine, following the model set by wines of the Southern Rhône, is a blend of varietals, led by the floral aromatics and stone fruit of Viognier and complemented by the elegance and minerality of Marsanne, the crisp acids and rich mouthfeel of Grenache Blanc, and the structure of Roussanne.
92 points; "The texture and wonderful length of the wine really makes this tick.": Owen Bargreen (Nov. 2020)
94 points; "flavors of white peach, quince, orange peel, and slate ... perfectly balanced": BevX (Oct. 2020)
93 points; "The palate is beautifully focused with precise entry of mineral": purely domestic wine report (Oct. 2020)
92 points; "lush and creamy with minerals and rich aromatics": Blue Lifestyle (Oct. 2020)
Extraordinary; "Bright and crisp but ever so elegant ... a great white wine by any standard and a great bargain": Underground WineLetter (Oct. 2020)
An elegant nose, with Marsanne seemingly at the fore right now: nectarines, lemongrass, honeydew, and a rich, wheaty element that Neil described as clean straw. The mouth is lovely, with flavors of peach pit, tangerine, and newly-mown hay drying in the sun. Lovely acids and sweet green herbs come out on the long, balanced finish. Drink now and for at least the next five years.
Watch Chelsea and the Shepherd discuss the wine: Tasting 2019 Cotes de Tablas Blanc with Chelsea and the Shepherd
- Adelaida District Paso Robles
- 44% Viognier
- 29% Marsanne
- 19% Grenache Blanc
- 8% Roussanne
- 13.0% Alcohol by Volume
- 1540 Cases Produced
The grapes for our Côtes de Tablas Blanc were grown on our certified organic and biodynamic estate vineyard.
The 2019 vintage began with ample rainfall the preceding winter. The wet soils delayed budbreak to a little after normal, and a cool first half of the summer delayed flowering and the ripening of our earlier varieties. Beginning the second week of July, the weather turned warm but never so warm to engage the vines' self-defense mechanism of shutting down, accelerating ripening of our later varieties and producing intense flavors. The resulting compressed harvest was completed under ideal conditions and the vintage shows both concentration and freshness, with bright acids framing ample fruit.
Viognier is always the lead grape in our Cotes Blanc, and we balance Viognier's lushness with the elegance of Marsanne and the brightness of Grenache Blanc. In 2019, the Viognier (44%) already had nice acidity, so we chose to use more Marsanne (29%) to bring elegance and minerality, and a relatively low percentage of Grenache Blanc (19%), leaving more Grenache Blanc for our varietal bottling in this relatively scarce Grenache Blanc year. 8% Roussanne rounds out the blend and provides structure.
All varietals for the Côtes de Tablas Blanc were whole cluster pressed, and fermented in stainless steel to emphasize their clean crisp flavors and preserve their aromatics. Only native yeasts were used. After fermentation, the wines were racked and blended in May 2020, and the wine was bottled in June 2020.