2021 Terret Noir
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The Tablas Creek Vineyard 2021 Terret Noir is our sixth varietal bottling of this rarely-seen Chateauneuf-du-Pape grape, propagated from budwood cuttings from the Château de Beaucastel estate.
While we have also begun using Terret Noir in our red blends, it is a fascinating grape on its own, unlike anything else from the Rhone. As a varietal bottling, we feel it expresses well what our 1904-edition French ampelography calls its "qualities of lightness, freshness, and bouquet".
A medium garnet color, with a nose of watermelon, blood orange and a buttery pie crust note offering surprising richness. On the palate, peppered citrus and baked red apple, lovely lift, a little of Terret's signature grip but in beautiful balance with the fruit. Pretty, lively, and fun.
- Adelaida District Paso Robles
- 100% Terret Noir
- 12.5% Alcohol by Volume
- 70 Cases Produced
Recipes & Pairings
- Dried sausages
- Salty cheeses
- Santa Maria tri tip
- Coq au vin
Terret Noir is a little-known blending grape from the south of France; in addition to being one of the permitted grapes in Chateauneuf du Pape, it was once (before 1850) the most planted variety in the department of Herault. The half-acre that we planted here in Paso Robles is California's first. Terret Noir is a large-berried grape that produces wines with pale color, good acidity, and a spicy, floral, earthy wildness.
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 Terret Noir grapes were grown on our Regenerative Organic Certified™ 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, to extract maximum flavor from this thin-skinned grape. Only native yeasts were used. After two weeks, the berries were pressed and this was combined with the free-run juice into neutral oak barrels. In May of 2022 we blended about half of the vintage's Terret Noir into our Le Complice blend. The remaining three barrels of Terret, selected for their balance of juiciness and tannic grip, were aged in neutral barrels until their bottling in Feb 2023.