Tablas Creek is dedicated to the production of wines made from Rhône grape varietals. All of their wines are made with grapes from their 120-acre certified organic estate vineyard. Each varietal is hand-harvested and fermented separately using native yeasts.
The Côtes de Tablas Rouge 2006 is 72% Grenache, 11% Syrah, 9% Mourvèdre, 8% Counoise. The wine showcases the fruit from the Grenache, with some meatiness from the Syrah and earthiness from the Mourvèdre and Counoise.
Ruby red in color. A very Grenache inspired nose of black cherry, strawberry, kirsch, pepper, bacon fat and some floral notes. On the palate, medium body with pure, fleshy fresh fruit. Loaded with raspberry, currant, pepper, graphite, with a touch of rare meat, licorice and earth. Silky tannins and good acidity — very approachable and enjoyable.
This wine evoked memories of Bonny Doon’s Clos de Gilroy at the height of its powers in the late 1980s — very Grenache-driven (fleshy raspberry, pepper and spice) and Nouveau-like fruit. This is a lot of wine for $18 a bottle. 14.8% alcohol. 3500 Cases produced. Strongly recommended.
I also really liked the Tablas Creek Vineyard Côtes de Tablas Blanc 2006, but would give a slight edge to the rouge — though both are very well made.