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The 2021 Tablas Creek Vineyard Grenache Blanc is Tablas Creek’s nineteenth bottling of its 100% Grenache Blanc. The Grenache Blanc grape, a widely-planted but rarely acknowledged southern Rhone varietal, is the white variant of the better-known Grenache Noir. It has turned out to be a remarkable success in California since we introduced it in 1997, producing wines with full body, good acidity, and flavors of citrus, anise, and green apple.
93 points; "brilliant and ripe ... fresh tree fruits, bruised apples and Bartlett pears": Decanter (Aug. 2023)
92 points; "round and soothing on the palate": Vinous (May 2023)
95 points; "bright, focused acidity, a touch of textural grip and a very long, layered finish": Robert Parker Wine Advocate (Dec. 2022)
An appealing nose of heirloom red apples and sweet spices. On the palate, on point between brighter and lusher elements: mouth-filling with flavors of fresh apple cider and citrus blossom, sea spray minerality and a hint of butterscotch. Vibrant acids keep order, and lead to a long, pithy finish with a pronounced saline mineral note. Drink now and over the next few years.
- Adelaida District Paso Robles
- 13.0% Alcohol by Volume
- 750 Cases Produced
- 100% Grenache Blanc
We use most of our Grenache Blanc in our Esprit de Tablas Blanc and Cotes de Tablas Blanc each year. However, we have been so pleased by the flavors and intensity of the Grenache Blanc that we try to reserve a small quantity of Grenache Blanc for a single-varietal bottling most vintages. The chilly, dry 2020-21 winter produced punishingly low yields for some of our early-sprouting grapes, and Grenache Blanc was no exception, with the harvest down nearly 50%. That meant that we produced our smallest quantity of our 100% Grenache Blanc in more than a decade.
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.
For the varietal Grenache Blanc, we chose mostly lots fermented in stainless steel (for energy), with a smaller addition from foudre (for roundness). The lots were blended in May 2022 and bottled under screwcap the next month.