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Senior editor James Molesworth joined Wine Spectator in 1997. He reviews Bordeaux, the Loire, the Rhône, South Africa and New York's Finger Lakes.
James Molesworth

A Rhône Ranger’s Unique White

Tablas Creek Bergeron Paso Robles 2009

James Molesworth
Posted: December 9, 2010

I’ve been working my way through the mixed six-pack that came with my membership in Tablas Creek’s wine club. This California winery—a joint venture between the Perrin family of the Rhône’s famed Château de Beaucastel and the Haas family of Beaucastel’s longtime importer, Vineyard Brands—has carved out a nice niche in the Paso Robles appellation, home to Wine Spectator’s Wine of the Year for 2010 and the epicenter for California’s improving Rhône varieties.

The Bergeron bottling—the synonym for Roussanne used in the Savoie—looks to mimic the style of that French region’s wines, producing this typically fleshy, tropical fruit-filled Rhône variety in a lighter style. It succeeds wonderfully.

The wine shows a rounded, creamy mouthfeel, with hints of green melon and peach all backed by a stylish, floral-tinged finish that picks up flickers of green almond and tarragon. Served just slightly cool, along with sautéed turbot fillets and some spinach and mushrooms finished with truffle butter, it was the perfect match—not too overbearing, with just enough cut. I rated it 89 points, non-blind.

WineSpectator.com members: Get scores and tasting notes for more recently rated Roussanne bottlings from California, as well as other white Rhône varieties such as Marsanne and Viognier.

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