2013 Tablas Creek Adelaida District Mourvèdre
Light black cherry, turned black loam and dried rose petals show on the nose of this straightforward and earthy bottling. Black raspberry and dark cranberry fruit consume the tart, edgy palate, with shaved licorice, sagebrush and a touch of pine needle completing the savory picture. A good lesson in fresh Mourvèdre.
Opaque ruby. Pungent aromas of dark berries, lavender pastille and succulent herbs, along with building spiciness. Supple and broad on the palate, offering fresh blackberry and bitter cherry flavors and a jolt of cracked pepper. Shows very good focus and a touch of licorice on a sweet, persistent finish that's framed by youthful, building tannins. I tasted through this year's new and upcoming releases with long-time winemaker and vineyard manager Neil Collins and assistant winemaker Chelsea Franchi, who has been at Tablas Creek since graduating from Cal Poly in 2008. Franchi has become more deeply involved in the winemaking here in recent years, a time when, as Collins said, "the vines are really coming into maturity and showing what the vineyards can deliver." There's a serious dedication to bush vine-planting (en gobelet) and dry farming at the estate, a process that requires considerable extra labor and raises the risk of decreased yields, but which most winemakers, including Collins, Franchi and the Haas and Perrin families, are convinced allows for maximum site expression and wine concentration. The Tablas Creek wines have an admirable track record for rewarding cellaring, all the way down to the entry-level bottlings, so readers are well-advised to stash a few bottles away, assuming they have patience and storage space. (JR)
*One Star* Straight ahead in its fruit with an inclination to sweet cherries that vaguely recalls ripe Pinot Noir, this fleshy, moderately full-bodied Mourvèdre flirts with dry, woodsy spice here and there and shows a fair bit of back-palate grip, yet its fundamental fruity message is nicely sustained. Its minor coarseness will be made irrelevant by a couple of years in the cellar or service with steaks and chops in the near term.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Completely destemmed and raised in larger foudre, the 2013 Mourvedre offers classic and textbook Mourvedre notes of blueberries, underbrush, savory herbs and violets. Drink this medium-bodied, lively, fresh and nicely balanced 2013 anytime over the coming 5-8 years. I had a terrific visit with Jason Haas and Neil Collins at Tablas Creek, and while I think their 2012s are a step back, the 2013s are superb, and the 2014s look even better. In addition, I was able to do a full 2005 retrospective, but will publish that as a stand-alone report at a later date. (JD)
Compact and rustic, with modest notes of dried cherry, orange zest and spicy licorice. Tannins frame the finish. Drink now through 2023. 690 cases made. (Web Only, 2016)