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The Tablas Creek Vineyard 2020 Vaccarese is our second varietal bottling of this rare Chateauneuf-du-Pape grape, propagated from budwood cuttings from the Château de Beaucastel estate.
Vaccarese is a little-known blending grape from the south of France; at less than 30 acres planted in France in 2016 it is one of Chateauneuf du Pape's rarest, and the two-thirds of an acre that we planted here in Paso Robles is California's first. But it's already shown tremendous potential, earning a spot in our 2020 Esprit de Tablas in just its fourth leaf.
The 2020 Vaccarese has a nose with both lush and cool elements: black raspberry fruit, juniper, and iodine. In the mouth, tangy black cherry and plum fruit, sweet licorice spice, a graphite-like minerality and firm tannins to maintain control. The finish is long, with salty minerality and black fruit framed by tannic structure.
- Adelaida District Paso Robles
- 13.0% Alcohol by Volume
- 160 Cases Produced
- 100% Vaccarese
Recipes & Pairings
- Dried sausages
- Salty cheeses
- Santa Maria tri tip
- Coq au vin
Vaccarese is large berried and yet quite dark, and produces wines with dark color, aromas of pine forest and juniper, flavors of tobacco, graphite, and spice, medium body, and some tannic grip. While we expect to ultimately use it in our red blends, with these early vintages, we are exploring what a seminal French ampelography calls its "indisputable aromatic floral originality" and "very fresh and very elegant flavor".
The 2020 vintage began benignly, with a cool spring that delayed budbreak to a little after normal, and continued below-average temperatures through July. Beginning in August, the weather turned hot, accelerating ripening and producing intense flavors. The state's terrible fires stayed well north of us, and the harvest finished early, under a compressed timeline but good conditions. The vintage shows concentrated flavors, noteworthy lushness, and lovely spice.
The Vaccarese grapes were grown on our certified organic and biodynamic estate vineyard.
The fruit was destemmed and fermented on the skins for two weeks in a 1-ton microfermenter, punched down twice daily. Only native yeasts we used. After two weeks, the berries were pressed, and this was combined with the free-run juice into neutral oak barrels. It aged there on its lees until we bottled it in April of 2022.