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The Tablas Creek Vineyard 2021 Picardan is our sixth varietal bottling of this unique estate-grown varietal, propagated from budwood cuttings from the Château de Beaucastel estate. Picardan is one of the Rhone's most obscure white grapes, permitted in Chateauneuf du Pape but with a total footprint in France of just over one acre, although it was apparently more common before phylloxera's arrival in the 19th century. 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 2012, and we planted a half-acre in 2013. Its first harvest was 2016.
90 points; "built on purity, nearly salty in its savoriness": Vinous (May 2023)
93 points; "jasmine, lime and white nectarine against a backdrop of chalky minerality": Decanter (May 2023)
93 points; "palate is pure and refreshing, with gently savory undertones": Robert Parker Wine Advocate (Dec. 2022)
The 2021 Picardan shows a complex, savory nose of lime, peppery citrus leaf, and briny oyster shell. On the palate, very bright with flavors of lemon and fresh green herbs, crushed rock, and sweet spice. The finish shows Picardan's characteristic zippy acids and lingering saline minerality. Drink over the next 3-5 years.
- Adelaida District Paso Robles
- 12.0% Alcohol by Volume
- 175 Cases Produced
- 100% Picardan
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.