Tablas Creek Vineyard is rooted in America — but has a French accent.
Located in Paso Robles in California’s Central Coast, Tablas Creek was started in 1989 as a partnership by two forces in the wine world: the late Robert Haas, founder of prominent U.S. importer Vineyard Brands; and the Perrin family, owners of the famed Château de Beaucastel based in the Châteauneuf-du-Pape appellation of France’s Rhône Valley. The relationship began when Haas started to import the Beaucastel wines in the 1960s.
Tablas Creek became a pioneer of Rhône-style wines in Paso Robles, which has a Mediterranean climate similar to that of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Beyond that, the limestone-rich soils of the vineyard in the Adelaida District of Paso Robles were also found to be conducive to growing the same varieties.
The 2020 Côtes de Tablas Blanc is an outstanding white blend that shows off the quality and the value of the wines produced by Tablas Creek, a 120-acre property named after a creek that runs through it.
The Côtes de Tablas Blanc is a blend of Viognier, Grenache Blanc, Marsanne, and Roussanne. The tastes evoke ripe pear and stone fruit with touches of orange, honey, herbs, vanilla, and saline. Round and textured, there’s lots of complexity here. It’s one of those wines that invites you back for another sip — and another glass.
Alcohol is listed at a quite-modest (by California standards) 12.5 percent, but the wine has a rich mouthfeel and a lasting finish. It’s aged in stainless steel, and with so much going on with this wine, I didn’t even think about the absence of oak. Low alcohol and no wood in a superb California wine? How refreshing.
This being November and American Wine Month here at VinePair, Thanksgiving naturally comes to mind. The 2020 Côtes de Tablas Blanc, at $30, would be a superb match for all the diverse flavors on your holiday table. So would another Tablas Creek wine: the 2019 Esprit de Tablas, a delicious $60 red blend of Mourvèdre, Grenache, Syrah, and Counoise with red and blue fruit and earth notes.