TN: TablasCreek Roussanne '18....(short/boring)

My TCV shipment arrived ystrdy, so Pobega’d last night:

  1. TablasCreekVnyds Roussanne EB/AdelaidaDist/PasoRobles (12.4%) 2018: color; very strong honeyed/honeysuckle/Rouss/floral/jasmine light pencilly/oak quite spicy some complex beautiful nose; lightly tart very rich/lush/mouthfilling very strong Rouss/floral/honeysuckle/honeyed/honeycomb light pencilly/oak quite spicy/bit nutmeg some complex beautiful flavor; very long/lingering very rich/lush/but not DollyParton intense Rouss/honeyed/honeysuckle/floral/honeycomb light pencilly/oak quite spicy/nutmeg/cardamon beautiful finish that goes on&on; not yet showing any of that nutty/toasted hazelnuts character that a mature Rouss shows; a beautiful Rouss that will only get better over the next 10-15 yrs; even though the wine is wonderfully rich & luxurious, it’s a fur piece from being a DollyParton white; an absolute steal at $26.00 (VIN)/$40.00

A wee BloodyPulpit:

  1. I don’t remember tasting this Rouss upon release. The last TCV Rouss I had was the '17 & it seemed a bit tight & closed. This '18 may not have been included in the last VinSidersClub release, so I may not have actually tasted it. I usually taste their new VIN releases just as soon as they come out and sometimes they seem a bit tight/closed, but they usually put on weight & really blossom.
    The TCV VINSiderClub is one of the tasting clubs that I continue my membership in. Probably one of the best tasting clubs around in terms of value. I sometimes feel guilty for drinking such good wines at such a cheap price. A club worth joining.
    Every month, TCV offers to their VINSiderClub at a 30% discount. Oftentimes, if you catch the special on a shipping deal month, you can get a fabulous deal. This Rouss '18 was in the January VIN special, I suspected it would be quite good, so my group ordered 2 cs worth. Whatta deal this was. One of the best Calif Rouss I’ve had in a number of yrs.

  1. Back in January, TCV sent out as a gift a small btl of the Estate OliveOil. I was mightly impressed by it… very fresh & peppery like a young olive oil should be. So I ordered two hlf btls of the oil in this last shipment. I tasted it last night alongside the tiny gift btl. I liked this new one even better. Not only does TCV make great wines, their olive oil is also first rate, as good as it gets in Calif.
    I can hardly wait for the first offering of the TCV VINSider Estate Lamb Chop.
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Thanks for the note Tom…! We opened the 2014 a few nights ago, and it was in a really lovely place. Citrus and quince which transitioned seamlessly to a resonant, classic Roussanne honey profile. At 13% (the 2014), it was plenty textural, and reminded me at times of a Savoie Chignin Bergeron (very much a positive for me) rather than warm-climate Roussanne. At 12.4% for the 2018, I think it continues to be evident that Tablas has allowed themselves to pick earlier, and earlier. Even the latest Mourvedre was 13% and the Syrah at 13.7% which is remarkable for Paso. Like you, our experience is that these wines put on weight in the bottle and rarely lack in texture in time. I’d even say that their white wines are perhaps the best wines they produce between their Grenache Blanc, Roussanne, Picpoul and Rolle…! (The Clairette is quite pretty too).


I’m amazed this showed that much richness that young - as Taylor pointed out, you expect it to pick up body in bottle as it slowly oxidizes, but the fact that they can get richness that early and with that alcohol level is pretty amazing. I believe most of Bob Lindquist’s Roussannes are 13.5% or less as well. Wonder what kind of oak treatment they use - % of new - and whether they stir the lees to build up richness.


Knowing Tablas, I would doubt that there would be substantial oak on these, but you have to figure that Rousanne would be the variety to break in some new barrels on. While I haven’t had the 2018 yet (but have tasted every other vintage in the last 10 years), I don’t get any sense of barrel fermentation or lees character on these wines - at least not in a degree that they show any stylistic effects. I don’t believe these are rich by conventional CA or CdP standard, but they are textural and generous in their own respect. (Like Savoie). All that said, 12.4% is remarkably low for Roussanne - but perhaps only because many CA producers have been hesitant to pick that early based on convention alone.

P.S. I looked it up after writing - and found this: “But the Roussanne we got was powerfully characteristic of the grape, and we chose lots for our varietal bottling that came roughly 55% from foudre, 35% from neutral oak puncheons, and 10% in small new barriques.”