Tablas Creek Vineyard was founded by the Perrin family of Château de Beaucastel and Robert Haas, the longtime importer and founder of Vineyard Brands. 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.
Tablas Creek called the 2007 vintage the best to date — and so I was excited about the Côtes de Tablas Rouge given that I am generally a big fan of their wines. The 2007 Côtes de Tablas is 50% Grenache with equal parts Syrah and Counoise. All of the varietals were fermented in stainless steel with the use of native yeasts: the Syrah in open-top fermenters, punched down manually, and the other varietals in closed fermenters with pump-over aeration. After pressing, the wines were racked, blended, aged for a year in 1200-gallon French oak foudres, and then bottled in February 2009. The wines underwent a light filtration before bottling.
On the nose, raspberry and cherry with some strawberry rhubarb and peppered bacon. On the palate, cherry with raspberry and some red licorice, a little leather with herbaceousness, pepper and mineral undertones — good backbone with ripe tannins and soft edges. The Grenache really shines and while this is juicy, it is not overdone, is very well balanced and actually a bit restrained. This is the best Côtes de Tablas from last three vintages and a great bargain at under $18 a bottle. 14.8% alcohol. Strongly recommended.