2018 Tablas Creek, En Gobelet, Red Rhône Blend, Adelaida District, Paso Robles.
The youthful, tight and cool mineral toned 2018 Tablas Creek En Gobelet, with a slight earthy hint of earthy reduction is a stylish and authentic Rhône blend of Grenache Noir 36%, Mourvedre 28%, Syrah 27%, Counoise 6% and the French Basque grape Tannat 3% that shows off a layering of blackberry, plum, cherry and currant fruits, along with accents of lavender, minty herbs, orange peel, stony notes and peppery spices. This dark, purple vintage is seriously structured and quite savory with subtle oak influence and dry gripping tannins, all of which can’t hide the elegant and fruit, but there way more to come here and if you plan on opening a bottle of this 2018 En Gobelet, be best aware that it needs time to full open and decanting will be needed for years to come. There’s a huge potential here for greatness here, as witness by its development in the glass after the better part of an hour and with a protein rich meat dish, where the En Gobelet filled out, without getting heavy, keeping its lively acidity, tension and freshness, it is an impactful wine, with the nature of a fine Gigondas. This wine was tasted blind and against some healthy competition, which included a couple of very well made and delicious Chateauneuf du Pape, that gave insight into just how distinctive and rewarding this wine really is.

The “gobelet” in Tablas Creek’s En Goblet, means an ancestral method of vine training, it was used by the Romans, and before, it allows the vine to grow up and more suited for hand harvesting and works best in warmer and breezy climates such as the Southern Rhone and of course Paso Robles, where you find many old bush vine vineyards. Interesting, the “gobelet” pruning method, which has been replaced mostly in favor of trellised vines which produces more fruit and is easier to harvest, but is perfect for the conditions in Talbas Creek’s Adelaida District vineyards, by allowing air through the vine while providing an umbrella like canopy of leaves/vegetation to shade there grapes, this works best with strong spur varietals like Grenache and Mourvedre that are used here to great effect. The En Gobelet Rouge uses Tablas’ original Chateau de Beaucastel clones for the the Chateauneuf du Pape grapes, as well as Tannat that was also brought over by the Haas (owners of Vineyard Brands wine imports) and Perrin (owners of Chateau de Beaucastel, one of the most prestigious wineries in France) families, the owners of Tablas Creek. Neil Collins, wine director at Tablas Creek, an English transplant who has been with the winery since it’s beginning has over the years, quietly become one of California’s most respected winemakers. The 2016 version of this En Gobelet might be one of my favorite wines from Tablas Creek and makes me want to it year after year, and this 2018 could get even better with some more patience that I possess, I recommend to hold it for another 3 to 5 years.
($50 Est.) 92-95 Points, grapelive

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