I unscrewed the cap off of a bottle of the Tablas Creek 2005 Vermentino the other day and was quite pleased. The winery, founded by the Perrin Family from southern Rhone and Robert Haas, is in Paso Robles and specializes in CDP style wines (duh!). I had little knowledge about the Vermentino, thinking it was from appellations in Southern Italy; I was right, though I guess there is some level of planting in the Rhone under the name rolle. Anyway, I joined the Tablas Creek club, received the requisite discount and am now a VINsider, kind of a goofy name. It's a good club, though, sending out a couple of high quality gifts and letting club members get higher allocations of the more in demand wines. Not sure that I will stay on board, as I found all the wines tasted so far to be in the good to quaffable range only. While Tablas Creek promotes its reds as the crown jewels I found its whites to be better as a group, though the 2004 Mouvedre is quite tasty.
Tasting notes on the Vermentino: Very balanced on the fruit/acidity front. No nose, almost no perfume except for a touch of lime. Citrus and gravel on the palate with a nice white peach finish. Clearly good with shellfish and other seafood and perhaps could stand up to spicy foods. Ultimately a nice wine to drink on the deck when the sun is out, even if there is a chill in the air.