2018 Tablas Creek Vineyard, Panoplie, Mourvèdre/Syrah/Grenache, Adelaida District AVA, Paso Robles.
Maybe the most prized and exclusive of Tablas Creek’s bottlings, the Panoplie, is a Mourvèdre led Chateauneuf du Pape blend that pays tribute to their sister property’s famous Hommage à Jacques Perrin at Chateau de Beaucastel, one of the most sought after Rhone wines with this beautifully aromatic 2018 being one of the most elegant versions to date, it is an outstanding wine with a gorgeous Burgundy like class and grace, thanks to the cool growing season and the low natural alcohol here. Not that is lacks for power, structure and depth, in fact this vintage of Panoplie a cuvée of 64% Mourvèdre, 24% Syrah and 12% Grenache, coming off the most prized sections of vines at the Tablas Estate, is an incredible wine that gets richer and more complex with every sip. The palate is impeccable with detailed layering of bramble berry, plum, black cherry and red currant fruits that are nicely accented with crushed flowers, black licorice, subtle meatiness and sweet leather notes along with a hint of cedar, orange rind, bay leaf, dried herbs and framboise. I am big fan of the single varietal bottlings here at Tablas, but these blended wines are next level stuff with the En Gobelet, which includes all bush vine or head trained Grenache, Mourvèdre, Syrah, Counoise and Tannat, the French Basque grape, being a particular favorite of mine.

Only made In worthy vintages, Tablas Creek Vineyard’s Panoplie is produced in small quantities, this 2018 Mourvèdre-based cuvée is an age worthy wine that is at its best with hearty cuisine choices, as the winery suggests, going with Braised meats, Roast duck and or Provencal herb crusted Leg of lamb, dishes that bring out all the complexity and purity of fruit here. All the grapes that go into the Panoplie are from organic estate vines that are certified biodynamic and that are set on the classic limestone soils of the west side of Paso Robles that also see some cool air from the Templeton Gap, especially at night, that allows for sublime ripening conditions and concentration, even at lower sugars, as this wine with only 13.5% natural alcohol proves to fabulous effect. For the vinification, the winery notes, that the grapes were fermented in separate small varietal lots using native yeasts in a mix of 1500-gallon wooden upright fermenters, open-top tanks and closed stainless steel fermenters. After pressing, the winery continues, the wines were then racked into barrel and allowed to complete their secondary (malolactic) fermentation. Then the final 2018 Panoplie blend was selected from the vintage’s best lots and blended in May the follow year, then aged in Tablas’ large 1200-gallon French oak foudres for another year before being bottled in July 2020. It’s a rarity and a special Mourvèdre driven treat to enjoy a bottle of this stuff and this vintage should continue to impress for another decade, not an easy get, but well worth it!
($95 Est.) 95 Points, grapelive

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