2021 Clairette Blanche
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The Tablas Creek Vineyard 2021 Clairette Blanche is our sixth varietal bottling of this rare grape, prized in the Southern Rhone for producing whites that maintain their acidity and minerality in a warm climate. The half-acre of estate grapes we own were propagated from budwood cuttings from the Château de Beaucastel estate.
The 2021 Clairette Blanche has an inviting nose of poached pear, lychee, brioche, and white flowers. The palate is mouth-filling but clean, white peach, fresh almond, vanilla custard, and white tea. The finish is long and mouth-watering, with moderate but lingering acids and notes of preserved lemon and sweet spice.
- Adelaida District Paso Robles
- 100% Clairette Blanche
- 12.5% Alcohol by Volume
- 46 Cases Produced
Recipes & Pairings
- Mussels Marinière
- Green salads with avocado and citrus dressing
- Light-fleshed fish (halibut, sole) with tropical salsa
Clairette Blanche, once one of the most widely planted white grapes in the Rhone, saw decades of decline before a recent resurgence of interest thanks to its ability to maintain freshness in a warming climate. We imported it into the United States in 2003 as part of our goal to have all the Chateauneuf du Pape varieties. It was released to us in 2009, planted in 2010, and its first harvest was 2013. Our small (half-acre) block on our certified organic and biodynamic estate vineyard is one of the only ones in California.
The 2021 vintage came after a chilly, relatively dry winter, the exception being a single storm that dropped more than a foot of rain on us in late January. The cold, dry winter produced a fruit set with smaller clusters and smaller berries, and yields were down about 25% compared to our average. The growing season was ideal, with each hot stretch followed by a cool period that allowed the vines to recover, and that combined with the low yields to produce some of our most intense fruit ever and our highest average acids since the chilly 2011 vintage. We believe that 2021 has all the hallmarks of a blockbuster year.
The fruit was whole cluster pressed, and fermented with native yeasts in a small variable capacity stainless steel fermenter until bottling in June 2022.