The Perrins of Chateau de Beaucastel and Robert Haas, their importer since 1970, founded Tablas Creek Vineyard in 1990. They chose their 1600-foot elevation site in West Paso Robles' Las Tablas because of its chalky clay soils and its climate similar to the southern Rhone Valley. They imported selected French cuttings of Mourvedre, Grenache, Syrah and Counoise and multiplied, grafted and planted their own vines, which they farm organically. This blended wine, in the image of Chateauneuf-du-Pape, is 100% estate-grown and bottled.
Learn More About Rhone White Blends
White Rhone blends consist of two or more white grapes from its namesake region. This includes Viognier, Rousanne, Marsanne and Grenache Blanc. Other white grapes may be included in miniscule amounts, but the above four are the principles. In the Rhone, Viognier is typically alone in the Northern Rhone and absent in the Southern Rhone, although, in the north, 20% of the variety can be blended into the predominant Syrah of Cote Rotie. Marsanne and Roussanne are two peas in pod - usually found together both in and outside of the Rhone region. Blends outside of the Rhone are mostly found in California and Australia and can include all of the four primary varieties together.
Notable Facts The whites blends of the Rhone are usually rich in fruit flavors and aromatics. Three of the primary grapes, Viognier, Roussanne and Marsanne are intense on aromatics & texture. The fourth primary grape used in the blend is Grenache Blanc, a fairly neutral grape with crisp acid & high sugars. Blending Grenache Blanc with the above three varieties helps the wine stand up in acid levels and ads a crispness to the texture. Flavors of white Rhone blends include spice, nut, honeysuckle and green apple.
Summing it up Successful Sites: Rhone, California, Australia, South Africa
Common Descriptors: honeysuckle, green apple, peach, nut, spice
Learn More About Central Coast, California
The largest of California's wine growing regions, the Central Coast produces the majority of California's wine. The district sprawls out, covering most of the vineyard land between San Francisco and Santa Barbara. Smaller sub-AVAs of the Central Coast include Monterey Bay, Paso Robles, Santa Ynez Valley, Santa Maria Valley, Santa Cruz Mountains and many others.
Grape varieties range from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay to Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel. Some Central Coast wine is generic, bulk wine that contributes to the high production numbers of the area. But many winemakers and wineries, particular in some of the smaller AVAs, are small production artisans, creating unique and high-quality wine. The great thing about the Central Coast is its diversity - you're able to find a number of grape varieties and styles at a number of different price points.