2006 Tablas Creek Côtes de Tablas
I bought this wine from our local wine shop, Arista Cellars, in Edmonds after I noticed the pedigree on the label of the Perrin family of Château de Beaucastel fame. If you’re not familiar with the name, it is associated with some prestigious Châteauneuf-du-Papes of the past several decades. Their 2005 was a Top 100 of 2008 in Wine Spectator. Tablas Creek is a joint venture with Robert Haas of Vineyard Brands. The 2006 Côtes de Tablas is 72% Grenache, 11% Syrah, 9% Mourvedre, and 8% Counoise. It is entirely estate grown.
I initially popped and poured this wine without much thought. The color was a clear pale garnet color. The initial aromas were disturbing with a rubber smell not unlike how the air inside a balloon smells. I would blame it on bottle shock but this wine was bottled in May of last year and has sat in my cellar for the last 2 months relatively undisturbed. After a while the aromas turned to a faint medicinal smell so I decided to decant the remainder of the wine. After about half an hour, most of the aromas had turned to a more floral quality with notes of spice and wet rock.
On the palate I mostly got red fruits: strawberry and raspberry. The body was light with good acidity to counter the fruit-forward characteristics. A medium finish with smooth tannins, great fruitiness and some licorice and mineral notes owing to the limestone soils of the Paso Robles area. It had a more old-world style than most American Rhone blends I’ve encountered. Overall, it was drinkable but not entirely enjoyable because of the initial aromas. Provided that the issues with the smells where limited to just this bottle, at $21 a bottle, this wine is a good value.
Scores: RP 89, IWC 91.