2011 Tablas Creek "Patelin de Tablas" Paso Robles Rhône Blanc

SKU #1130599 90 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 (45% grenache blanc, 34% viognier, 18% roussanne and 3% marsanne; all stainless steel): Bright straw. High-pitched aromas of lime zest and lemongrass, with a deeper note of fig building in the glass. Dry, tightly wound flavors of tangy citrus fruits, white flowers and herbs accented by spices. Closes dry and long, leaving mineral and white pepper notes behind.  (12/2012)

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Readers in search of a delicious, value-priced white should check out the 2011 Patelin de Tablas Blanc. Peaches, flowers and mint all emerge effortlessly from this crisp, refreshing white. Grenache Blanc gives the wine much of its tension. The blend is 45% Grenache Blanc, 34% Viognier, 18% Roussanne and 3% Marsanne, mostly purchased fruit but grown on Tablas cuttings. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2014. As always, my tasting at Tablas Creek was a bit of a marathon session covering several dozen wines, but that is just a testament to a world-class winery that excels at so many things. This year I tasted with proprietor Jason Haas, winemaker Ryan Hebert and assistant winemaker Chelsea Magnusson. Haas describes 2011 as a difficult year. A devastating spring frost reduced yields by as much as 40% in some places. Vintage 2010 was characterized by a long growing season, but without the huge heat spikes that were seen elsewhere. It was also much more plentiful, which gave the winery the quality and ability to bottle its four main red Rhone varieties separately.  (8/2012)

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Price: $19.99
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Paso Robles

- Located about halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles, this inland AVA enjoys a sunny and hot growing period while its seaside neighbors hang in the fog. Zinfandel is the traditional red grape of choice, though cabernet, chardonnay, and Rhône varietals are gaining favor. Most are made in a fruit-forward, early drinking style.