Spring: it’s almost here! With that in mind, I have chosen a wine that is perfect for patios of all shapes and sizes! When I first started getting serious about wine in the early 2000s, one of the first regions I visited was California’s Paso Robles where the Tablas Creek Winery is located. Tablas Creek is partially owned by the Perrin Family, who also own one of the most famous properties in the Rhône, Chateau Beaucastel. In the mid1980s, they decided that the west side of Paso Robles, with its limestone soils and rugged terrain, was an ideal place to grow the Rhône varieties used for their Chateauneuf du Pape. With that in mind, they planted Mourvèdre, Grenache, Syrah, Rousanne, Grenache Blanc and Viognier. Today, Tablas Creek is producing some of the best Rhône styled wines in the world. When I have the opportunity, I like to get other people’s input into my wine picks, so I bought some cheese (white stilton with apricots) and crackers and called my friends Patrick and Cece over for some cheer. A blend of 56 percent Grenache Blanc, 23 percent Viognier, 12 percent Rousanne, and 9 percent Marsanne, the result is a tremendously well-balanced effort that shows great fruit, but also has excellent acidity. On the nose, the wine shows citrus notes of lemon and orange zest, a touch of green apple, a bit of orange creamcicle, and a light floral note from the Viognier. On the palate, the wine again shows apple and lemons, but also yields white peach, a touch of apricot, orange tang, and a hint of green almond. The wine also has a very nice texture from the Rousanne and Viognier. I really enjoyed this bottle and look forward to popping many more on my patio later this spring and summer!