The 2009 Tablas Creek Vineyard Roussanne is Tablas Creek’s varietal bottling of our most important white grape. The wine is exuberantly and elegantly in character of the Roussanne grape, with honey, honeysuckle, and pear aromatics, a rich, viscous mouthfeel with just a hint of oak, and a long, lingering finish.
The 2009 Roussanne has an expressive nose of beeswax, lacquered wood, and white flowers, with a powerful spiciness emerging with air. The mouth is juicy yet still restrained, with flavors of peaches and cream. The finish is more mineral, very clean, with almond, pear, honey and chamomile notes.
The 2009 vintage was a third consecutive drought year, with yields further reduced by April frosts. Berries and clusters were small, with excellent concentration. Ripening over the summer was gradual and our white harvest complete except for a few Roussanne lots at the time of a major rainstorm on October 13th. Crop sizes were 10% smaller than 2008 and 30% lower than usual. The low yields and gradual ripening resulted in wines with an appealing lushness, rich texture and gentle minerality. Roussanne was harvested between September 18th and November 2nd.
The Roussanne grapes were whole cluster pressed, and fermented using native yeasts half in stainless steel and half in small French oak barrels. The wine was left on its lees for 6 months, and allowed to complete malolactic fermentation. After fermentation the wines were blended, and bottled in August 2010. The wines underwent only a light cold stabilization before bottling.
We use most of our Roussanne in our Esprit de Beaucastel Blanc each year. However, we often have some Roussanne lots in the cellar that are so powerfully characteristic of the varietal that we feel it would be a shame to lose them in a blend. In these cases, we reserve a small quantity of this Roussanne for a single-varietal bottling.
The Roussanne grapes were grown on our 120-acre certified organic estate vineyard.