Browse Tag

paso robles

Drawing out a blanc

[tablas creek blanc]Tablas Creek 2004 “Côtes de Tablas” Blanc (Paso Robles) — Dried honey, wax, amber, a bit thuddy (but then what does one expect from these grapes, in Paso, at age 12…even from Tablas Creek?), but elements of this wine have certainly rewarded aging. If you like it prettier, drink it earlier. I like both. (8/16)

Patelin the bike

Tablas Creek 2010 “Patelin de Tablas” Red (Paso Robles) – 14.1%. Juicy & approachable. Dark fruit, some soil, some herbality, a dusting of black pepper, but mostly this is about seamless wholeness. That said, while the structure of this wine is usually a “just enough” support, this bottle is a bit spiky. Not sure what’s going on, but I’m sure this won’t be my last bottle, so we’ll see. (7/12)

Tapping Jeremy

Tablas Creek 2010 “Patelin de Tablas” Red (Paso Robles) – Syrah, grenache, mourvèdre, and counoise, 14.1% alcohol. Immediately appealing. Warm berries, hints of mushroom, herb, and soil. Some spice, some pepper. Everything moderate to low-volume, but well-knit. The kind of wine of which one could consume a lot, which is (of course) the intent behind this newish bottling. (6/12)

Patelin upstream

Tablas Creek 2010 “Patelin de Tablas” (Paso Robles) – 14.1% alcohol, a blend of syrah, grenache, and mourvèdre with a little counoise. With this wine, Tablas Creek has perfected, to the extent that they hadn’t quite in the past, the fully-approachable collation of philosophies and agriculture that any winery’s entry-levels are supposed to provide. Vibrant, fulsome, yet non-boisterous fruit (black, purple, red, even a little meat-infused), dashes of liquid black pepper, a structure that hangs about in the background, unassertive but fully supportive…this is a Tablas Creek version of a fruit bomb without being anything like the boozy fruit bomb-esque duds that plague their appellation. I’ve been drinking the formerly lower-end Côtes de Tablas since before it was called that, and while it (I speak of the red here) was often quite approachable, it never released itself from yearning – sometimes more strongly than in other years – for seriousness. This is, aside from semi-commercial and mostly notional bottlings, the least serious red wine I’ve ever tasted from Tablas Creek. That is, by the way, a compliment, because I think that here, result very clearly proceeds from intent. (2/12)


Tablas Creek 2002 Côtes de Tablas Blanc (Paso Robles) – 36% viognier, 30% marsanne, 26% grenache blanc, 8% roussanne. Years ago, I consumed a bottle of this wine and posted the note to my then-blog, drawing a response from Jason Haas (from the winery) saying that my suppositions regarding future potential were probably off the mark, and the wine was almost certainly fully mature. It’s not that I didn’t listen to him, it’s that I had no idea I owned another bottle. Well, here are 750 milliliters of Jason-was-wrong, which I say not to tweak him but to reiterate one of the much-ignored wine truisms: any given bottle can be a surprise, and there are few absolutes…especially when it comes to aging.

Enough meta. The wine: deep bronze, and perhaps not coincidentally with the consistency of tanning oil, spice turned to the dust of deep antiquity, still powerful, but the power is a deep basso throb. It brightens, slightly, with food, but the intention throughout is to dominate rather than complement. Which is fine, because the wine’s extremely interesting. Hold it longer? No, I wouldn’t. But people have been wrong about this before… (12/11)

Over hill and del

Ridge 1999 Zinfandel (Paso Robles) – 14.4% alcohol, 95% zinfandel. I basically go into older Ridge Paso Robles experiences expecting booze. I don’t get that there. Oh, it doesn’t lack alcohol, but despite the lack of, well, lack it’s more or less balanced in that lukewarm California-simmer style. The fruit has moved not an inch, but the oak has receded into “Draper perfume” (really just a euphemism for the lingering toasted coconut of maturing wood aromas). It’s nice, but aside from wood-shedding I’m not sure what the point of aging it was. (10/11)

More vèdre, please

Tablas Creek 2005 Mourvèdre (Paso Robles) – 14.3%. Hefty, leathery, chewy fruit of the black-hearted variety. Tannins are large-scaled but soft…not quite cashmere, but something sturdier…and there’s a lush black peppery tone late in the wine’s lingerings, which are lingerful indeed. Very, very young, I’d say. (8/11)

Roses in bloom

Rosenblum 2007 Zinfandel (Paso Robles) – 15.1%. Cudgel zin, but at least it’s wrapped in foam padding. Not really enough of anything except alcohol, of which it has a little too much. It’s not really worth a pummeling, it’s just sorta…eh. (8/11)

A Dusi of a zin

Ridge 2006 Zinfandel (Paso Robles) – 100% zinfandel from Dusi Ranch in San Luis Obispo County, 14.6% alcohol. Hyper-concentrated as befits the appellation, but not jammy or goopy. Well, not overly goopy. There’s structure, but there’s plenty of heat. Plenty of ripe, boisterous fruit to go with it as well, but this is about as far from, say, Nalle as zin can get while remaining in my palate wheelhouse. The thing is, the alcohol’s not numerically over-endowed, so the overt size this wine can sometimes carry is missing, and that helps with handling the zap-pow nature of the fruit, but it is still evident, and not everyone will enjoy that. I wouldn’t hold it very long, either. (8/11)