Ceviche and Tablas Creek Picpoul Blanc

You want to know the difference between winos and foodies?  Winos are more likely to pick a wine, then decide which food to pair with it.  Foodies are more likely to pick the food, then (maybe) decide which wine to pair with it.  I’m a wino ( granted - with latent foodie tendencies), so when I saw the theme for this week’s Wine Pairing Weekend #2 -  Refreshing Summer Wine Pairings,  the first thing I did was select a wine.  And top of mind for me,  was a refreshing summer white wine. But I wanted something other than the typical Sauvignon Blanc, or Chard.  No, I was in the mood to experiment,  and try something new.  And that’s when the 2012 Tablas Creek Picpoul Blanc I’ve been holding on to for a few months came to mind.

The Wine

Picpoul Blanc is an ancient white-wine grape variety native to the Languedoc region in Southern France, where it is known as Piquepoul or Piquepoul Blanc.  It’s used primarily as a blending grape in Châteauneuf du Pape, but is best known for the light-bodied green wines of the Pinet, a region that run along the southern coast of France in the Languedoc. Like the better known Grenache and Pinot, Picpoul has red, white and pink variants, though Picpoul Noir and Picpoul Gris are very rare.

The name Pique-poul translates literally as “stings the lip”, and is a reference to the grape’s naturally, mouth wateringly high acidity.

Tablas Creek Vineyard imported Picpoul vines from France to replicate the clonal selection of French grapes. The grapes were quarantined in 1996, and released in 1998. The first vines were planted 2000.

Tablas Creek says that Picpoul grown in California maintains its bright acidity, but also develops an appealing tropical lushness.

My tasting notes are below…

photo (76)

The Tablas Creek Picpoul Blanc shows subtle pineapple, lemon, and white flower aromas. But it really comes alive on the palate.  It’s harmonious, and  fresh with a lush texture and very acid driven with expansive pineapple,  and lemon flavors complemented by subtle mineral and spice shadings offering some complexity.  The acid drives a lingering finish.  >>Find this wine<<

This is a very food friendly wine that will pair well many dishes including fried calamari, fish cakes, all manner of prawns, Thai dishes.  I’d even give it a go with Spaghetti Carbonara!

The Food

I adore Ceviche, and it’s a great dish for summer when the mercury is rising.  Not only do you not have cook use heat sources to cook it, it’s also pretty healthy too.  It’s a great source of lean protein. I chose to use the Cook’s Illustrated recipe for Ceviche with Tomatoes and Avocado.

I made the Ceviche after I started a Beer Can Chicken on my Weber. Typically, it’s more like an appetizer served with crackers and the like, but I decided to “saladfy” it by chopping up some Romaine lettuce, adding some cherry tomatoes, cucumber, and sliced avocado dressed with a citrus vinaigrette.

Ceviche with Tomatoes and Avocado

Ceviche with Tomatoes and Avocado

Ceviche with Tomato and Avocados
Author: 
Recipe type: Appetizer or Salad
Cuisine: Latin American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
Ingredients
  • 1 pound extra-large shrimp (21 to 25 per pound), large sea scallops, skinless fish fillets, or a combination
  • 1 teaspoon grated lime zest from 1 lime
  • ½ cup juice from 4 limes
  • ½ cup juice from 4 lemons
  • 1 small red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and chopped fine
  • 1 jalapeño chile (small), stemmed, seeded, and minced
  • 1 medium garlic clove, minced or pressed through a garlic press (about 1 teaspoon)
  • Salt
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 scallions, sliced thin
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro leaves
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • 1 ripe avocado, pitted and diced fine
  • Ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. If using shrimp, peel them completely, devein, and slice each shrimp in half lengthwise using a paring knife (through the deveined groove in the back). If using scallops, remove the side tendon (see illustration below) and slice into ⅓-inch-thick rounds. If using fish, remove any bones and slice into 1-inch squares about ⅓ inch thick.
  2. Stir the lime zest, lime juice, lemon juice, bell pepper, jalapeño, garlic, and ½ teaspoon salt together in a medium bowl. Gently stir in the seafood, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until the seafood is firm, opaque, and appears cooked, 45 to 60 minutes, stirring halfway through the marinating time.
  3. Place the mixture in a fine-mesh strainer, leaving it a little wet, then return to the bowl. Gently stir in the oil, scallions, tomatoes, cilantro, and sugar followed by the avocado. Season with salt and pepper to taste before serving.
Notes
Fresh seafood and freshly squeezed lime and lemon juice are essential for this dish. Be sure to pat all seafood dry with paper towels so that any moisture does not water down the marinade. I used a 50/50 blend of shrimp and Dover sole. Slicing the seafood into pieces no thicker than ⅓ inch is important for even cooking; super-thin fish fillets (such as sole, flounder, or tilapia) are the easiest to use, as they require the least amount of prep. Heat is not used to cook the fish in this dish—the acid in the citrus juice firms it and makes it opaque. Add the avocado just before serving to prevent it from breaking down and coating everything with its green color

Use a nonreactive container for making ceviche, such as glass, ceramic or stainless steel.

The Wine and Food Together

The Tablas Creek Picpoul Blanc was  stellar pairing with my Ceviche with Tomatoes and Avocado.  The food made the wine taste better and the wine made the food taste better.

The weight of the wine was a perfect complement to the “weight” of the Ceviche, which was loaded with avocado and tomatoes.  And the ample tropical fruit profile of the wine was a great complement to the tart nature of the Ceviche.

Score!

Ceviche and Tablas Creek Picpoul Blanc

Wine Pairing Weekend #2 Bloggers: Be sure to check out the great pairings my fellow bloggers have come up with for the July Wine Pairing Weekend! 

Culinary Adventures with Camilla posted “Green Fig Ice Cream + Cambiata Albariño

Vino Travels — An Italian Wine Blog shared “Orzo salad and Trebbiano d’Abruzzo

Curious Cuisiniere posted “Grilled Trout paired with a Tropical Fruit Viognier

ENOFYLZ Wine Blog paired “Ceviche and Tablas Creek Picpoul Blanc

Take a Bite Out of Boca shared “Grilled Mango-Sriracha Shrimp, Pineapple and Peppers paired with Burg Layer Schlosskapelle Spatlese Kerner

foodwineclick shared “Steamers and Cava on the Porch

Confessions of a Culinary Diva blogged about “Aperol Spritz

Cooking Chat paired “Grilled Salmon with Mango Salsa and a White Burgundy

Join the #winePW conversation: Follow the #winePW conversation on Twitter throughout the weekend and beyond. If you’re reading this early enough, you can join us for a live Twitter chat on our theme “Refreshing Summer Wine Pairings” on Saturday, July 12, from 11 a.m. to noon Eastern Time. You can also visit our group Pinterest board to pin some great pairing ideas for later! Stay tuned for the August Wine Pairing Weekend, which will focus on “Wine for Summer’s Bounty” on Saturday, August 9.

#DrinkPink; 2013 Tablas Creek Patelin de Tablas Rosé

Rosé season is in full bloom, although truth be told, it’s Rosé season for me pretty much year-round for me!  With that in mind, I’m cranking up my annual series of weekly “Drink Pink!“ Rosé tastings.  It’s my quest for the best Pink Porch Pounders for $20 or less!  This week’s Rosé is the 2013 Tablas Creek Patelin de Tablas Rosé.

The Winery

Tablas Creek Vineyard (“TCV”) is probably the best-known of all Paso Robles wineries specializing in Rhone style wines.  It is a partnership between Robert Haas, and the Perrin Family of Chateau de Beaucastel in the Chateauneuf du Pape region in FranceWhat I find interesting about TCV is that they specifically chose to establish themselves in Paso Robles because of the similarities of the soil conditions and climate of Paso Robles to Chateauneuf du Pape.  They went as far as to import vines from Chateauneuf du Pape.  The vines were propagated and grafted in their on-site nursery and used to plant their 120 acre organic vineyard.  Check the full story here.

The Wine

Tablas Creek (“TCV”) is no newcomer to Rosé.  Unlike many relative newcomers who have hopped aboard the dry Rosé bandwagon as of late, TCV has been producing a Rosé since 1999. And that’s no surprise given their association with Chateau de Beaucastel in the Southern Rhone region in France – the spiritual home of Rosé.

Like most rosé wines from the Rhône Valley, it is based on the bright strawberry fruit and fresh acidity of Grenache, with additions of darker fruit, structure and spice from Mourvèdre and Counoise.

As they did last year, Tablas Creek produced two Rosés for 2013.  This bottling is part of their excellent value-oriented Patelin de Tablas line, which also includes white and red Rhone blends.

This year, it’s a blend of 73% Grenache, 22% Mourvedre, 5% Counoise sourced from seven top Rhône vineyards in Paso Robles.

Retail – $20; 14.1% alcohol; 1540 Cases Produced

photo (37)

My tasting notes follow:

Pale pink color with strawberry, cherry, dried rose aromas. On the palate it approached medium-bodied, and is fresh with strawberry, cherry, and spiced citrus flavors underscored with a bit of minerality. Lingering finish. 14% alcohol. 

Rating:  A-A perennial favorite that’s on the verge of excellence, and continues to deliver! Will buy more!

Pair with: Charcuterie, pâté, salade niçoise, Andalusian Gazpacho, sausages or Barbeque Chicken Tikka Kebabs.

Sample purchased for review 

Ratings Key:

(A+) – 95-100/Extraordinary
(A) – 92-95/Outstanding
(A-) – 89-91/Very Good to Outstanding
(B+) – 86-88/Very good
(B) – 80-85/Good
(C) – 70-79/Bleh
(D) – 50-69/#Fail
__________________________________________________________________

Martin Redmond is a Financial Executive by day, and a certified wine geek with latent foodie tendencies the rest of the time. In addition to the wine lifestyle and food he enjoys family, fitness and traveling. He likes to get thoughts of wine off his mind by sharing experiences on his ENOFYLZ Wine blog, which features wine reviews, wine country travel, and wine and food pairings.

Follow me on Twitter @martindredmond for all things wine, and since I’m a wino, with latent foodie tendencies, you’ll also find food and wine pairings, and food related stuff! Become a fan and join ENOFYLZ Wine Blog on Facebook. Cheers!

This article is original to ENOFYLZ Wine Blog.com. Copyright 2014 ENOFYLZ Wine Blog. All rights reserved.

“No Reservations” Wine Tasting in Paso Robles – Tablas Creek Vineyards

My wife and I do more than our fair share of wine tasting.  We’ve hit all the major wine regions in California (and a few minor ones too;-), along with some tasting in Oregon and Spain.  From time to time we have a wine tasting experience that stands above the rest, and is everything we’re looking for – great wine and commendable service in a relaxed unpretentious environment. It’s those such experiences that are the focus of this “No Reservations” series.  Why “No Reservations”? Because I can honesty say I have “No Reservations”  about recommending the winery anyone who is looking for a great wine tasting experience.  The latest in this series features Tablas Creek Vineyard in Paso Robles.

My complete review of Tablas Creek Vineyard, including history, a recap of the tasting experience – including reviews of wines tasted may be found at the American Winery Guide’s website.

Founded by the Perrins (Chateau de Beaucastel) and importer Robert Haas, Tablas Creek produces estate-grown, internationally recognized Rhone varietals and Chateauneuf-du-Pape style blends from grapes including Syrah, Mourvedre, Viognier and Roussanne.

Tablas Creek Vineyard Tasting Room

Tablas Creek Vineyard Tasting Room

Tablas Creek is operated in much the same way as Chateau de Beaucastel, with a certified organic vineyard, an emphasis on wines of elegance and minerality, and an ongoing spirit of experimentation. However, for all its reliance on the expertise and experience of the French vineyard, Tablas Creek Vineyard is not trying to be a clone of its older cousin. According to Winemaker Neil Collins, “when people taste Beaucastel, they know it’s Beaucastel. I would hope that people will taste Tablas Creek and know it’s Tablas Creek.”

Tablas Creek Vineyard Sign Haas and the Perrins knew the Rhone varietals they wanted to focus on: Mourvedre, Syrah, Grenache and Counoise for reds, and Roussanne, Marsanne, Viognier and Grenache Blanc for whites. However, they felt uneasy about the quality of Rhone grapevine stock available domestically and decided to import fresh cuttings of all eight varietals from Chateau de Beaucastel. The cuttings spent three years in a rigorous U.S.D.A. quarantine program before being released to the property in 1993. Over the next decade, Tablas Creek’s grapevine nursery (the only on-site vine nursery of any vineyard in California) would provide millions of cuttings of high-quality Rhone varietals to Tablas Creek, and, eventually, hundreds of other producers around the West Coast.

Tablas Creek Domaine de Beaucastel

My wife and I have been making an annual trip from our home in Northern California to the Central Coast for the last 4 years, and Tablas Creek is at the top of our list for wineries to visit.  Highly Recommended!

Related posts you might enjoy:
__________________________________________________________________

Martin Redmond is a Financial Executive by day, and a certified wine geek with latent foodie tendencies the rest of the time. In addition to the wine lifestyle and food he enjoys family, fitness and traveling. He likes to get thoughts of wine off his mind by sharing experiences on his ENOFYLZ Wine blog, which features wine reviews, wine country travel, and wine and food pairings.

Follow me on Twitter @martindredmond for all things wine, and since I’m a wino, with latent foodie tendencies, you’ll also find food and wine pairings, and food related stuff! Become a fan and join ENOFYLZ Wine Blog on Facebook. Cheers!

This article is original to ENOFYLZ Wine Blog.com. Copyright 2014 ENOFYLZ Wine Blog. All rights reserved.

Wine of the Week: 2011 Tablas Creek Patelin de Tablas

Every Thursday I feature a wine I particularly enjoy, whether it’s something new and different, is a great value, or from a producer worth checking out.  For this week, my Wine Of The Week is the 2011 Tablas Creek Patelin de Tablas.

The Winery

Tablas Creek Vineyard (“TCV”) is probably the best-known of all Paso Robles wineries specializing in Rhone style wines.  It is a partnership between Robert Haas, and the Perrin Family of Chateau de Beaucastel in the Chateauneuf du Pape region in FranceWhat I find interesting about TCV is that they specifically chose to establish themselves in Paso Robles because of the similarities of the soil conditions and climate of Paso Robles to Chateauneuf du Pape.  They went as far as to import vines from Chateauneuf du Pape.  The vines were propagated and grafted in their on-site nursery and used to plant their 120 acre organic vineyard.  Check the full story here.

The Wine

Tablas Creek began producing the Patelin de Tablas line of wines in 2010. Patelin is French slang roughly translated as “country neighborhood”.  In this case “neighborhood” refers to Tablas Creek sourcing fruit from neighboring trusted growers in the Paso Robles area  that take care of their vineyards and for the track records of the wines that these vineyards have produced.

According to TCV…Grapes for the Patelin de Tablas are sourced from four regions in Paso Robles. Three are limestone-rich: the warmer, higher-elevation Adelaida Hills near Tablas Creek, the cool, coastal-influenced Templeton Gap to our south, and the moderate, hilly El Pomar to our south-east.  These regions provide structured, mineral-laced fruit and excellent acidity.  We also source fruit from the warmer heartland of the Paso Robles AVA: the Estrella District, whose mixed sandy loam soils produce juicy, darkly-fruited Syrah. 

All varietals for the Patelin de Tablas were destemmed and fermented in open-top and closed stainless steel fermenters as well as 1500-gallon oak upright casks. Only native yeasts were used. After fermentation, the wines were racked and blended, aged in a mix of stainless steel and 1200-gallon oak foudres, and bottled in May 2012 

The wine is a blend of 52% Syrah, 29% Grenache, 18% Mourvèdre, and 1% Counoise.  It’s  great example of the advantages of blends – The Syrah adds dark spice and meatiness, that is brightened by Grenache and Counoise, and the earthiness of Mourvedre.

13.7% Alcohol by Volume; 8,460 Cases Produced.

photo (53)

 My tasting notes follow:

Dark ruby color with promising dark red fruit, peppery spice and a hint of damp earth aromas. On the palate, it’s medium-bodied and smooth with bright cherry, spice, and mineral flavors. Polished mouthfeel, and very good length!

Rating: A-;  A beautiful wine that substantially over delivers for the price (SRP – $20, but can be found online for around $18; Find wine here), and is food friendly too!

Pair with: Charcuterie; Camembert,  or Comté cheese;  grilled meat, meaty stews and casseroles,  slow cooked roasts of pork or lamb, or Moroccan tagines.

Sample purchased for review

Ratings Key:

(A+) – 98-100/Extraordinary
(A) – 94-97/Outstanding
(A-) – 90-93/Excellent
(B+) – 86-89/Very good
(B) – 80-85/Good
(C) – 70-79/Bleh
(D) – 50-69/#Fail
Other posts you might enjoy

__________________________________________________________________

Martin Redmond is a Financial Executive by day, and a certified wine geek with latent foodie tendencies the rest of the time. In addition to the wine lifestyle and food he enjoys family, fitness and traveling. He likes to get thoughts of wine off his mind by sharing experiences on his ENOFYLZ Wine blog, which features wine reviews, wine country travel, and wine and food pairings.

Follow me on Twitter @martindredmond for all things wine, and since I’m a wino, with latent foodie tendencies, you’ll also find food and wine pairings, and food related stuff! Become a fan and join ENOFYLZ Wine Blog on Facebook. Cheers!

This article is original to ENOFYLZ Wine Blog.com. Copyright 2014 ENOFYLZ Wine Blog. All rights reserved.

Wine of the Week: 2010 Tablas Creek Vineyard Tannat

Every Thursday I feature a wine I particularly enjoy, whether it’s something new and different, is a great value, or from a producer worth checking out.  For this week, my Wine Of The Week is the 2010 Tablas Creek Vineyard Tannat.

The Winery

Tablas Creek Vineyard (“TCV”) is probably the best-known of all Paso Robles wineries specializing in Rhone style wines.  It is a partnership between Robert Haas, and the Perrin Family of Chateau de Beaucastel in the Chateauneuf du Pape region in FranceWhat I find interesting about TCV is that they specifically chose to establish themselves in Paso Robles because of the similarities of the soil conditions and climate of Paso Robles to Chateauneuf du Pape.  They went as far as to import vines from Chateauneuf du Pape.  The vines were propagated and grafted in their on-site nursery and used to plant their 120 acre organic vineyard.  Check the full story here.

The Wine

For the uninitiated, Tannat is a red wine grapes whose origins are believed to lie in Basque country, on the border between Spain and France.  The grapes have been be historically grown in South West France in the Madiran AOC.  However today, it’s known just as much, if not more so, as the national red wine grape of Uruguay, a small country located on the Atlantic coast of South America.  In fact, more Tannat is grown in Uruguay than in the grape’s native France.

Tannat..has adapted itself beautifully to Paso Robles and produces wines suitable for long aging with very dark color, distinctly aromatic, spicy aromatics and rich dark fruit

Tablas Creek has been bottling Tannat as a varietal wine annually since 2002, when through their efforts, Tannat was recognized as a separate varietal by Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (“BATF”).

Here’s what TCV say about production of this wine..The Tannat grapes were destemmed and fermented using native yeasts. The wine was then moved to small barrels where it was aged for 18 months. The wine was bottled in May of 2011.  While in many vintages we blend in our small production of Cabernet Sauvignon with our Tannat, in 2010 we were so taken with the Cabernet, and so pleased with the Tannat’s balance, that we bottled each separately

2010 Tablas Creek Tannat

My tasting notes follow:

Inky opaque black-purple color with dark fruit, smoked meat, and sandalwood aromas. On the palate it’s medium-bodied, and intense with a firm tannic structure.  It’s muscular, yet polished with layered blackberry, raspberry, mineral, spice flavors. Medium-long finish. 14.5% alcohol

Rating: A-: Loved it!

Pair with: I very much enjoyed this with grilled tri-tip.  TCV suggests pairing with Braised Short RibsBoeuf Provençale, game stews, or Szechuan beef.

Sample purchased for review

Ratings Key:
(A+) – 98-100/Extraordinary
(A) – 94-97/Outstanding
(A-) – 90-93/Excellent
(B+) – 86-89/Very good
(B) – 80-85/Good
(C) – 70-79/Bleh
(D) – 50-69/#Fail

Follow me on Twitter @martindredmond for all things wine, and since I’m a wino, with latent foodie tendencies, you’ll also find food and wine pairings, and food related stuff! Become a fan and join ENOFYLZ Wine Blog on Facebook. Cheers!

This article is original to ENOFYLZ Wine Blog.com. Copyright 2013 ENOFYLZ Wine Blog. All rights reserved.

#DrinkPink! Rosé of the Week; 2012 Tablas Creek Vineyard Dianthus

It’s that time of year… Yes, it’s Rosé season!. With that in mind, I’ve embarked upon a series of weekly “Drink Pink!“ Rosé tastings.  This week’s Rosé is the 2012 Tablas Creek Vineyard Dianthus.

The Winery

Tablas Creek Vineyard (“TCV”) is probably the best-known of all Paso Robles wineries specializing in Rhone style wines.  It is a partnership between Robert Haas, and the Perrin Family of Chateau de Beaucastel in the Chateauneuf du Pape region in FranceWhat I find interesting about TCV is that they specifically chose to establish themselves in Paso Robles because of the similarities of the soil conditions and climate of Paso Robles to Chateauneuf du Pape.  They went as far as to import vines from Chateauneuf du Pape.  The vines were propagated and grafted in their on-site nursery and used to plant their 120 acre organic vineyard.  Check the full story here.

 The Wine

Tablas Creek (“TCV”) is no newcomer to Rosé.  Unlike many relative newcomers who have hopped aboard the dry Rosé bandwagon as of late, TCV has been producing a Rosé since 1999. And that’s no surprise given their association with Chateau de Beaucastel in the Southern Rhone region in France.

Dianthus is a new name our estate rosé — in former vintages called simply Rosé — and refers to a genus of flowering plants known for their deep pink blossoms and known colloquially as “pinks”.

What is new for 2012 is that TCV decided to produce two Rosés.  This wine, Dianthus, is dominated by Mourvedre( 60% Mourvedre, 25% Grenache, 15% Counoise.  Whereas, the Patelin de Tablas Rose (see related post below) is predominately Grenache.

The fruit for this wine sourced the oldest section of French-sourced vines on their 120-acre certified organic estate vineyard. The grapes were harvested and co-fermented together on skins in stainless steel. After 48 hours, about 800 gallons of juice was bled off, and fermented dry away from the skins. Those lots were further supplemented with saignées (bleedings) from other Mourvèdre and Grenache lots in the cellar.

As an aside, I tasted this wine at the Rhone Ranger San Francisco tasting back in March and it’s evolved nicely. It’s more aromatic now.

Drink Pink! Rosé of the Week; 2012 Tablas Creek Vineyards Dianthus

2012 TCV Dianthus

My tasting notes follow:

Cranberry red color with red berry,watermelon and dried rose aromas. Slow legs On the palate, it’s medium-bodied, balanced and dry with medium-acidity, and strawberry, cherry, red plum, spiced watermelon, and mineral flavors. Medium-long finish. 14.5% alcohol| SRP- $27| 1,200 cases produced

Rating:  A-:   The deeper color of the wine portends a richer, more full-bodied experience that most Rosé wines. Score!

Pair with: This Rosé is more full-bodied than most. That’s a beautiful thing is my book.  I love Rosé, and it’s great to have one on that will pair with the “weight” of heavier foods. Not all summer fare is lightweight, and remember Rosé is a wonderful wine at the table year-round (I could easily seen this pairing well with a Thanksgiving meal).  For summertime,  a Grilled Ahi Tuna Salad, or Paella comes to mind!

Sample purchased for review 

Related posts:

Ratings Key:

(A+) – 98-100/Extraordinary
(A) – 94-97/Outstanding
(A-) – 90-93/Excellent
(B+) – 86-89/Very good
(B) – 80-85/Good
(C) – 70-79/Bleh
(D) – 50-69/#Fail

Follow me on Twitter @martindredmond for all things wine, and since I’m a wino, with latent foodie tendencies, you’ll also find food and wine pairings, and food related stuff!  Become a fan and join ENOFYLZ Wine Blog on Facebook. Cheers!

This article is original to ENOFYLZ Wine Blog.com. Copyright 2013 ENOFYLZ Wine Blog. All rights reserved.

Drink Pink! Rosé of the Week; 2012 Tablas Creek Patelin de Tablas Rosé

It’s that time of year… Yes, it’s Rosé season!. With that in mind, I’ve embarked upon a   series of weekly “Drink Pink!“ Rosé tastings.  This week’s Rosé is the 2012 Tablas Creek Patelin de Tablas Rosé.

The Winery

Tablas Creek Vineyard (“TCV”) is probably the best-known of all Paso Robles wineries specializing in Rhone style wines.  It is a partnership between Robert Haas, and the Perrin Family of Chateau de Beaucastel in the Chateauneuf du Pape region in FranceWhat I find interesting about TCV is that they specifically chose to establish themselves in Paso Robles because of the similarities of the soil conditions and climate of Paso Robles to Chateauneuf du Pape.  They went as far as to import vines from Chateauneuf du Pape.  The vines were propagated and grafted in their on-site nursery and used to plant their 120 acre organic vineyard.  Check the full story here.

 The Wine

Tablas Creek (“TCV”) is no newcomer to Rosé.  Unlike many relative newcomers who have hopped aboard the dry Rosé bandwagon as of late, TCV has been producing a Rosé since 1999. And that’s no surprise given their association with Chateau de Beaucastel in the Southern Rhone region in France.

Like most rosé wines from the Rhône Valley, it is based on the bright strawberry fruit and fresh acidity of Grenache, with additions of darker fruit, structure and spice from Mourvèdre and Counoise.

What is new for 2012 is that TCV decided to produce two Rosés.  This bottling was added to their excellent value-oriented Patelin de Tablas line, which also also includes the Patelin de Tablas Blanc, based on Grenache Blanc, and Patelin de Tablas, based on Syrah.

The other Rosé is 2012 Dianthus.  While this Rosé is dominated by Grenache, the Dianthus is dominated by Mourvedre.  I’m looking forward to giving that one a try too!

Drink Pink...2012 Tablas Creek Patelin de Tablas Rosé

2012 Tablas Creek Patelin de Tablas Rosé

My tasting notes follow:

Copper pink color with enticing strawberry, stone-fruit,and spice aromas. On the palate, it’s between light and medium-bodied, and fresh. It’s dry on entry, but closer to off-dry on the back palate with strawberry, watermelon, spice and mineral flavors. Medium + finish. Blend of 75% Grenache, 20% Mourvedre, 5% Counoise. 14% Alcohol | $20 SRP| 1250 cases produced

Rating:  B+

This is a charming Rosé that is incredibly flexible partner at the table.  Unlike many Rosés, which are great with salads or lighter fare, this one can stand up to heartier fare. TCV recommends it with Crisp Crab Risotto.  Sounds like a winner to me!

Sample purchased for review 

Related posts:

Ratings Key:

(A+) – 98-100/Extraordinary
(A) – 94-97/Outstanding
(A-) – 90-93/Excellent
(B+) – 86-89/Very good
(B) – 80-85/Good
(C) – 70-79/Bleh
(D) – 50-69/#Fail

Follow me on Twitter @martindredmond for all things wine, and since I’m a wino, with latent foodie tendencies, you’ll also find food and wine pairings, and food related stuff!  Become a fan and join ENOFYLZ Wine Blog on Facebook. Cheers!

This article is original to ENOFYLZ Wine Blog.com. Copyright 2013 ENOFYLZ Wine Blog. All rights reserved.

Wine of the Week; 2009 Tablas Creek Vineyard Grenache

Every Thursday I feature a wine I particularly enjoy, whether it’s something new and different, is a great value, or from a producer worth checking out.  For this week, my Wine Of The Week is the 2009 Tablas Creek Vineyard Grenache.

The Winery

Tablas Creek Vineyard (“TCV”) is probably the best-known of all Paso Robles wineries specializing in Rhone style wines.  It is a partnership between Robert Haas, and Chateau de Beaucastel in the Chateauneuf du Pape region in FranceWhat I find interesting about TCV is that they specifically chose to establish themselves in Paso Robles because of the similarities of the soil conditions and climate of Paso Robles to Chateauneuf du Pape.  They went as far as to import vines from Chateauneuf du Pape.  The vines were propagated and grafted in their on-site nursery and used to plant their 120 acre organic vineyard.  Check the full story here.

The Wine

The 2009 vintage was the fourth varietal bottling for Tablas Creek.  The fruit for this wine come from Tablas Creek’s 120 acre organic vineyard.  2009 was a challenging year due not only to drought, but also to an April frost.  As a result yields were down. Ah…but tough times for grapes, means more concentrated fruit.  According to TCV…

The low yields and gradual ripening resulted in wines with an appealing lushness, rich texture and wonderful chalky tannins.

The grapes were fermented in stainless steel tanks with native yeasts.

2009 Tablas Creek Vineyard Grenache

2009 Tablas Creek Vineyard Grenache

My tasting notes follow:

Medium garnet color with red fruit, spice and slight smoked meat aromas. On the palate, it’s medium bodied, with nicely integrated tannins, and is fresh and focused with cherry, spice, and mineral flavors. Medium-long finish – 91pts

Rating: Highly Recommended

Pair with: Braises and stews made with beef, pork, or lamb, or a grilled steak. On the poultry front; try with roast turkey, or gamier fowl such as pheasant. A personal favorite is pairing it with Paella.  It’s also is a good match for Cheddar, Fontina, or Gouda, or Jarlsberg cheeses.

The Wine Geek Stuff:

  • Alcohol: 14.5% alcohol.
  • Closure: Cork
  • AVA: > CaliforniaCentral CoastPaso Robles
  • Grape Varieties: 100% Grenache
  • Cooperage: Aged in 1,200-gallon foudre
  • Retail: $40
  • Cases produced: 600
  • Drink: now – 2020

This above wine was purchased for review

 

Wine Of The Week: 2010 Tablas Creek Vermentino

My Wine of the Week (“WoW”) for July 14-July 20 is the 2010 Tablas Creek Vermentino.

The Winery

Tablas Creek (“TCV”) is probably the best-known of all Paso Robles wineries specializing in Rhone style wines.  It is a partnership between Robert Haas, and Chateau de Beaucastel in the Chateauneuf du Pape region in FranceWhat I find interesting about TCV is that they specifically chose to establish themselves in Paso Robles because of the similarities of the soil conditions and climate of Paso Robles to Chateauneuf du Pape.  They went as far as to import vines from Chateauneuf du Pape.  The vines were propagated and grafted in their on-site nursery and used to plant their 120 acre organic vineyards. Check the full story here

The Wine

If you’re not familiar with the Vermentino grape, it’s believed to be Spanish in origin, though the best examples come from the islands of Sardinia, Corsica, and northern Italy.  It is also grown in France where it is known as Rolle, where it is used primarily as a blending grape in Côtes de Provence, and increasingly in the Languedoc-Roussillon in southern France.  It is known for its crisp acidity, citrus and mineral aromas, and refreshing finish.  It pairs well with just about any seafood, oysters on the half-shell, seafood linguine, cioppino, pesto dishes or grilled Mediterranean vegetables.  It’s a classic example of the wine of a place being a reflection of that place – in this case the islands of Corsica and Sardinia, along with Liguria in the coastal region of north-western Italy where fresh seafood abounds.

The 2010 vintage was the ninth bottling of Vermentino for TCV.  The grapes for this wine are grown on their estate vineyard.

I enjoyed this on a warm summer night – al fresco style.  It paired wonderfully with grilled oysters,  and banana-leaf grilled tilapia, accompanied by an avocado, grilled corn, tomato salsa!

My tasting notes follow:

Light straw yellow-gold color with citrus leaf, wet stone, and a hints of honeysuckle aromas. On the palate, it approaches medium-bodied and  is well-balanced with crisp acidity.  It’s bursting with citrus, lime peel, and mineral flavors. Medium finish.

Recommendation: Highly recommended. It’s a great alternative to Sauvignon Blanc!

Details:

Alcohol: 13.1% alcohol.

Closure: Screw cap.

AVA:  > CaliforniaCentral CoastPaso Robles

Varietal(s): 100% Vermentino

Cooperage: Stainless Steel

Retail: $25

Cases produced: 1,235

 

Paso Robles-Central Coast Wine Touring-Day 1

For the last 3 years, my wife and I have attended wine festivals in Santa Barbara each summer.  Each year, on our way back to the Bay Area, we’ve stopped in Paso Robles to do some wine tasting.  Last year we stopped both on the way to Santa Barbara, and on the way back.  This year, because we’ve enjoyed the wineries we’ve visited in Paso Robles so much, we decided to skip Santa Barbara altogether and just do Paso Robles instead.

On our itinerary was wine tasting in Paso Robles on Friday (Day 1), then head south to the Lompoc Wine Ghetto on Saturday (Day 2), before wrapping up with more tasting in Paso on  Sunday (Day 3).  I’ll cover each day in a separate post.  I’ll share with you the wineries we visited, the wines we tasted, my favorite wine at each winery, and offer my recommendation for each winery.

After the roughly 3 hour drive to Paso Robles from the Bay Area, we arrived in Paso around noon.  Just in time for lunch! Our first stop was Farmstand 46 - which just happens to be co-located with Cypher Winery – Winery #1.  This wasn’t our first time at Farmstand 46.  Last year we stopped there on the way to Santa Barbara, and on the way back.  Enough said? It’s THE place to stop for lunch if you’re tasting anywhere  in the Paso Robles area other than downtown. They dish healthy gourmet foods, including fantastic sandwiches, and wood fire oven pizza, made from locally grown organic ingredients including “estate” produce.  The co-location with Cypher is no accident, Christian Tietje, the winemaker for Cypherwas a chef in Boston before he was a winemaker, and has a stake in Farmstand 46.

Our friend Emmaline, who accompanied us on our trip,  got us off to a great start because she bought along a bottle of the 2010 Unti Cuvée Blanc, a very good  Rhone blend composed of Grenache Blanc, Vermentino, and Picpoul Blanc.  It had a wonderful peach, white nectarine, apple flavors and fantastic acidity.  It was a great wine for our lunch!

2010 Unti Cuveé Blanc

My lunch was a great veggie pizza from the wood-fired oven!

While I was waiting for lunch these beauties pulled up…

L – 1959 Porsche 356 ; R – 1966 Porsche 356

Next stop Cypher Winery:  

Address: 3750 Highway 46 West, Templeton CA 93465
Phone: (805) 237-0055
Open Hours: 10am – 6pm daily
Tasting Fee: $10 (Keep the custom etched “O” Riedel glass)
Food Available: Co-located with Farmstand 46 restaurant
Picnic Area: Yes

Cypher is winery with a hip vibe that does some crazy blends, that fittingly have cool names like AnarchyHeretic, and Loco.  For example, their  Louis Cypher wine is a blend composed of 12 varieties of grapes – Teroldego (15%), Petite Verdot (14%), Souzao (13%), Petite Sirah (13%), Carignan (9%), Alicante Bouschet (9%), Syrah (6%), Tinta Cao (5%), Tinta Roriz (5%), Tannat (5%), Touriga Nacional (4%), and Zinfandel (2%). Definitely not your everyday red wine blend.  And that’s just one of their “extreme” wines.  But don’t get it twisted, the winery has some great vineyard sources, and takes winemaking seriously.  I think of their wines as seriously fun.  Oh, and if you’re so inclined, be sure to pick up a “Zin-Bitch” rub-on tattoo while you’re there!

Here’s the wine menu:

My favorite was the 2009 Anarchy ZMS – an unconventional blend of Zinfandel, Mourvedre, and Syrah

My two cents? – Recommended, especially if  you enjoy, bold, but a bit different types of wines.

Next stop – Tablas Creek:

Address:  9339 Adelaida Road  Paso Robles, CA
Phone: 
(805) 237-1231
Open Hours:  
10am – 5pm daily
Tasting Fee:
 $10 (Keep the glass; One complimentary tasting with wine purchase)
Picnic Area: Yes

Tablas Creek (“TCV”) is probably the best-known of all Paso Robles wineries specializing in Rhone style wines.  It is a partnership between Robert Haas, and Chateau de Beaucastel in the Chateauneuf du Pape region in FranceWhat I find interesting about TCV is that they specifically chose to establish themselves in Paso Robles because of the similarities of the soil conditions and climate of Paso Robles to Chateauneuf du Pape.  They went as far as to import vines from Chateauneuf du Pape.  The vines were propagated and grafted in their on-site nursery and used to plant their 120 acre organic vineyards. Check the full story here

Here’s their relatively newly remodeled tasting room, which is upscale, and spacious with a very knowledgeable tasting room staff.

Ah yes…the mothership is only 9009 km away!

We tasted these wines:

  • 2010 Grenache Blanc
  • 2010 Côtes de Tablas Blanc
  • 2010 Roussanne
  • 2011 Patelin de Tablas Blanc
  • 2010 Chardonnay Antithesis
  • 2011 Rose
  • 2010 Côtes de Tablas
  • 2009 Grenache
  • 2009 Esprit de Beaucastel

My favorite was the 2009 Esprit de Beaucastel, a superb blend Mourvèdre (40%), Syrah(28%),Grenache (27%), and Counoise (5%)

My two cents – Highly recommended. All the wines tasted got an “A” from me.  My favorite thing about TCV (besides the wines;-) is that all the wines are served at the proper temperature!  That’s a seemingly small, but all too important thing that most wineries seem to forget!

Next stop - Justin

Address: 11680 Chimney Rock Road, Paso Robles CA 93446
Phone: (805) 238-6932
Open Hours: Daily, 10am – 5pm
Tasting fee: $10 (waived with $50 or more purchase)
Food Available: Yes
Picnic Area: Yes

Justin was established in 1981 by Justin and Deborah Baldwin back when Paso was relatively unknown.  It was probably the first true “destination” winery in Paso.  Besides the winery there is the JUST Inn B&B, and Restaurant on site.  Justin is best known for their Bordeaux-style blends and single varietals.  Here a shot of the one of the tasting rooms…

which is located on a beautiful property…

We tasted these wines…

The tasting menu at Justin

  • 2010 Viognier
  • 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 2009 Reserve Tempranillo
  • 2009 Justification (67% Cabernet Franc, 33% Merlot)
  • 2009 Isosceles (94% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Cabernet Franc, 3% Merlot)

My favorite was the 2009 Justification

 My two cents – Highly recommended, especially if you’re into Bordeaux-style wines.
The last (and the most fun) stop  of the day was Kiamie Wine Cellars

Kiamie Cellars

  
Address: 9750 Adelaida Road, Paso Robles, CA
Phone: (805) 237-0055
Open Hours: 11am – 5pm daily
Tasting Fee: $5 (waived with purchase)
Food Available: No
Picnic Area: Well…sorta..
We got lucky on this one.  After tasting at Justin, we were hustling to get to another winery before it closed.  When we realized we weren’t going to make it, we stopped at the next winery we saw.  I’m glad we did.   Despite the fact that it was only about 10 minutes until closing time, Greg Johnson, one of the two owners, along with Aram Deirmenjian, greeted us with open arms, and more importantly, open bottles of very good wine!  Greg (pictured below ) is a guy with a lot of personality and a lot of fun.  He delivered  the one-liners of the day…
“Napa is for auto-parts”, and when I asked him how long he’s been in California (he’s from NY) he wise-cracked “Not long enough to lose the accent”.
We tasted these wines:
  • 2009 Kiamie White Kuvee
  • 2006 R’Own Style Blend
  • 2007 R’Own Style Blend
  • 2007 Meritage
  • 2006 Kiamie Kuvee
  • 2007 Kiamie Kuvee
My favorite wine was the 2007 Kiamie Kuvee a blend of 66% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Syrah, 9% Petit Verdot, 6% Zinfandel.
My two cents: Recommended, especially if you prefer a smaller winery with a more personal feel.
As we were leaving Kiamie, we asked Greg and a buddy of his for a recommendation for a place to eat.  They told us about Villa Nel Mondo, another B&B co-located with a winery (what a great idea!)

 For…