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The Tablas Creek Vineyard 2022 Bourboulenc is our fourth varietal bottling of this rare grape, and one of the only ones in the world. Bourboulenc is prized in the Southern Rhone for producing whites with rich texture that still have good acidity. The half-acre of estate grapes we own were propagated from budwood cuttings from the Château de Beaucastel estate and are some of just a handful of acres outside France.
A tropical nose of passion fruit, lychee, fresh almond, wet stone and a warm coconut character that Chelsea identified as surf wax. On the palate, bright, like barely-ripe mango, with additional high-toned fruit elements like mandarin and lemon balm. The finish is more linear, with lemon drop and chalky mineral, and a nice pithy textural bite. Our experience aging Bourboulenc is limited, but we plan to drink ours over the next few years.
- Adelaida District Paso Robles
- 12.0% Alcohol by Volume
- 185 Cases Produced
- 100% Bourboulenc
Bourboulenc is an ancient grape, first mentioned in the literature in the early 16th century, and from its earliest times identified with the south of France, particularly the area around Avignon. In the Rhone, it is valued for its ability to make wines with citrus aromatics and a distinctive smoky character, with fairly good acids and relatively low alcohol. 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 2014, planted in 2016, and its first harvest was 2019.
The 2022 vintage was our third year of drought, but because the rain that we received came early, the vines showed good health though with cluster counts down by about 15%. Two frost events, one in April and one in May, reduced yields further. A cool first half of the summer was followed by our hottest-ever August and September, producing an early start and an even earlier finish to harvest. The vintage's extremely low yields produced concentrated flavors, noteworthy texture, and intense fruit.
In just a few years, it's become a favorite here, making it into the Esprit Blanc the last three years. Still, this 185-case varietal bottling is its primary showcase, and represents about 75% of our total harvest. It was blended in May 2023 and bottled in June.