ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 97+ POINTS - "Tectumque means "shelter" in Latin. This wine was initially going to be called "Inconnue" ("unknown" in French), but that name had already been trademarked. "Naming wines is becoming impossible," mentioned Manfred. "Everything has already been taken. Even, 'No Name!'" This is a blend of 38% Roussanne, 31% Petit Manseng, 18% Chardonnay, 9% Viognier and 4% Muscat. The vineyard components are 52% Cumulus Estate, 19% Eleven Confessions Estate, 18% Bien Nacido Vineyard and 11% The Third Twin Estate. It spent around 20 months aging in 9% concrete eggs, 4% amphora, 9% used barrels and 78% new French oak puncheons."
"Just recently bottled, the 2017 Tectumque was bit closed on the nose when I first tried it, springing to life upon second tasting a month later, offering up with seducing notes of tangerine peel, tropical fruits, paraffin wax and honeycomb with a floral undercurrent—orange blossom and honeysuckle—followed by a waft of allspice. The palate is full, rich and wonderfully creamy with compelling, juxtaposing phenolic grip. (Manfred thinks this phenolic attribute comes from the tiny Petit Manseng berries with very thick skins. These berries also lend a lot of natural acidity.) Possessing a very fresh, laser-fine line of vivacity, it finishes very long and incredibly fragrant. Given the structure, intensity and nature of the flavors, I foresee this aging with all the grace of a great Chateauneuf du Pape blanc and should easily cellar for 15-20+ years. 773 cases and 324 magnum bottles were made."
Tablas Creek was founded by the Perrin family of Château de Beaucastel and their importer, Robert Haas. The goal was to produce California's best examples of southern Rhône varietals and Chateauneuf-du-Pape style blends. The partners chose a 120-acre property in the hills of westside Paso Robles for its similarities to Chateauneuf-du-Pape: limestone soils, favorable climate, and rugged terrain. Tablas Creek emphasizes dry farming (no watering) to seek maximum expression from their grapes, and they farm organically. Their signature white is named Esprit de Tablas, and is modeled after the Beaucastel wines from the Rhone Valley.
ANTONIO GALLONI'S VINOUS MEDIA 93-94 POINTS - "Light green-tinged gold. Mineral-accented tangerine, melon and pear scents on the highly perfumed nose; a floral nuance gains strength as the wine opens up. Vibrant citrus and orchard fruit flavors are joined by bitter quinine and honeysuckle flourishes that build slowly with air. Shows impressive depth as well as nerviness on the finish, which hangs on with strong, mineral-dominated persistence."
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 92 POINTS - "The 2017 Esprit Blanc de Tablas is made up of 68% Roussanne, 17% Grenache Blanc, 7% Picpoul Blanc, 4% Picardan and 4% Clairette Blanche. The nose features honey-drizzled apples, lychee, orange peel and musk with warm hay, crushed stone, quince and pie crust notions. Medium to full-bodied with intense honeyed flavors in the mouth, it has great juicy acidity to counter and a long, gently textured finish. "This is the first vintage of the Esprit de Tablas Blanc to have Clairette and Picardin," winemaker Jason Haas says, "because we wanted to include all the white grapes from Châteauneuf-du-Pape." 2,250 cases produced."
JEB DUNNUCK 91 POINTS - "The 2017 Esprit De Tablas Blanc offers more richness and depth, which is largely missing from many of these wines. White peach, quince, honeysuckle, and hints of stone fruits all emerge from the glass, and it's nicely textured, medium-bodied, has good acidity, and a clean finish. The blend is 68% Roussanne, 17% Grenache Blanc, 7% Picpoul Blanc, 4% Picardan, and 4% Clairette."
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 91 POINTS - "The 2017 The White Coat is a blend of Roussanne and Grenache Blanc with a smaller portion of Vermentino. It opens with hints of honeycomb, orange peel and white blossom with sliced green pear and green apple notes at the core plus a hint of wet stone. Light to medium-bodied, it has pure citrus and tree fruit flavors in the mouth with floral and yeasty notes, finishing with juicy acidity and some phenolic texture. 1,300 cases produced."