Wow - an amazing Rhone style wine, impressive stuff from this up and coming California winery! The Tablas Creek Vineyard Cotes de Tablas is a blend of two estate-grown Rhone varietals: Grenache and Syrah. The blend, like most wines of the Southern Rhône, focuses on the Grenache varietal. Syrah adds spice and mid-palate density.
The 2000 Côtes de Tablas is Tablas Creek's first national release of its Grenache-based red blend, made in the style of a full-throttle Côtes du Rhone. The 2000 vintage was particularly favorable to the Grenache grape: warm sunny days through the ripening season gave the Grenache good sugars and excellent balance, while the low yields (2.5 - 3 tons per acre) produced intense flavors and chewy tannins. The Syrah was harvested on September 18th and 19th, while the Grenache was harvested between September 20th and September 29th.
Both varietals were fermented in stainless steel with the use of native yeasts: the Syrah in open-top fermenters, punched-down manually, and the Grenache in closed fermenters with pump-over aeration. After pressing, the wines were racked and blended, and aged for a year in 1200-gallon French oak foudres. The wines are unfined and unfiltered.
The 2000 Côtes de Tablas is a rich, juicy wine, with spicy aromatics of black pepper, licorice, roasted meat, and cassis. The flavors are intensely fruity, with blackberry and kirsch backed up by ripe tannins and impressive concentration.