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The 2019 Tablas Creek Vineyard Marsanne is Tablas Creek’s seventh varietal bottling of Marsanne, best known from the northern Rhone's Hermitage appellation, where it is renowned for making some of the world's most ageworthy white wines. We picked our Marsanne in mid-September with precise, expressive flavors, and selected the varietal bottling from a single lot with unusually good acids.
An intense Marsanne nose of Charentais melon,, sweet straw, lemongrass and citrus blossom. On the palate, sweet tropical fruit that reminded me of lychee and ripe kiwi. The finish showed white flowers and tropical honey, solid acidity, and lingering tropical fruit. I think this is the best Marsanne we've ever made, with the texture, fruit, and acidity all up a notch from what we normally see. It's so appealing now that I'm guessing a lot of it will get drunk young, but it should evolve in an interesting way for a decade at least.
- Adelaida District Paso Robles
- 100% Marsanne
- 12.7% Alcohol by Volume
- 340 Cases Produced
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.
The Marsanne was whole cluster pressed, and fermented in a mix of stainless steel (to emphasize its clean crisp flavors and minerality) and foudre (to build body and richness). Only native yeasts were used. The 2019 vintage, for whatever reason, produced our most textured, Hermitage-like Marsanne ever, another indication that it was a tremendous vintage overall. We fermented it in the new 600-gallon foudres for a balance of richness and a little sweet oak, then chose the lots for our varietal bottling, returned it to large wood for a few more months, and bottled it in June 2020.