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tablas creek

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)

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)

Wear a Côtes

Tablas Creek 2006 “Côtes de Tablas” Blanc (Paso Robles) – The bronzed stone fruit has not diminished in intensity since release, but it has taken on a deeper, richer tone, the metallics have been somewhat energized, and there’s more soil in evidence. This is a heavy wine in the grand scheme, though decidedly not so in its local idiom, and is still quite luscious and even a little blowsy. I’m convinced that age will continue to turn this wine, but those who require upfront fruit may want to think about drinking sooner rather than later. (9/10)

Their Tablas is our gain

Tablas Creek 2005 Syrah (Paso Robles) – Burly but not overbearing, loading up the wagon with blackberries and blueberries, leather, roasted nuts, and rich California ripeness. There’s earth and baritone to this wine, and it’s balanced and structured enough to reward a fair bit of cellaring, I think. (8/10)

Salbatting order

[label]Tablas Creek 2006 “Côtes de Tablas” Blanc (Paso Robles) – Reticent. Closing? Quite possibly, or it could just be in decline (the latter is more likely, however). What’s left for examination includes bony structure, nut skins and oils, and a bit of stone fruit. Hope lies in the fact that these bare minimums of expression linger for a good long while, but this is a minor wine at present. (8/09)

Tablas Creek 2006 “Côtes de Tablas” Blanc (Paso Robles) – See above note. (8/09)