COMPLEXITY AND STRUCTURE and flavors that take you past the world of Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc: that’s what you find with the Rhone-style white blends from Tablas Creek Vineyard. The French-American-owned winery, located in Paso Robles where the climate and landscape are similar to the Rhone Valley in France, has just released a new batch of dry whites. These are handcrafted wines, mostly produced off the winery’s own certified-organic vineyard and all are fermented by the native yeasts on the skins — this takes longer and isn’t always easy. Here’s a taste.
Tables Creek Patelin de Tablas Blanc Paso Robles 2014, $20: This sassy dry white is a blend of mainly Grenache Blanc and Viognier with Roussanne and Marsanne. It’s all stainless-steel produced to preserve the fresh, crisp flavors. The Viognier gives it a nice floral twist on the midpalate. The Grenache Blanc adds crisp acid and a rich mouthfeel. It’s all about pineapple, grapefruit, ginger and tart quince. It has a long, dry finish. What a fabulous pairing with fresh seafood or entrée salads. This wine is available at better wine sellers in Metro Detroit. It’s a huge seller for the winery.
Tablas Creek Côtes de Tablas Blanc Paso Robles 2014, $27: Steely, minerally, packed with ripe stone fruit and citrus — this is the ideal wine to pair with seafood, roasted chicken and entrée salads. It’s a blend of Viognier, Grenache Blanc and Marsanne with a small complement of Roussanne. It’s got the stonefruit and floral tones of the Viognier, the crisp acid and mouthfeel of the Grenache Blanc, and the structure and minerality of the Marsanne and Roussanne. There are exotic honey and ripe peach tones in the aromas; flavors are dry and streaked with minerality. The finish is long and echoes the minerality and floral notes. It’s a complex, thinking-person’s wine.
Tablas Creek Esprit Blanc de Tablas Paso Robles 2013, $45: What a special, finely crafted Rhône-style blend from sunny Paso Robles. The winery’s flagship white is dry and complex, with layers and layers of flavor. It’s a blend of mostly Roussanne and a fair complement of Grenache Blanc finished with Picpoul Blanc. The Roussanne gives it richness, minerality, honey and spice. The Grenache Blanc adds green apple and a note of tarragon; Picpoul Blanc adds minerality and tropical tones. Aromas open with peach, citrus and savory herbs followed by rich, bracing flavors: green apple, nectarine, citrus and brown spices. It’s a golden beauty that can age 15 years or more.
You can reach Sandra Silfven at ssilfven@Hotmail.com.