One advantage for Tablas Creek is that my parents still spend part of the year in Vermont. This means that, unlike a lot of California wineries, we get a chance to have a home base outside California in which to build good supporters through regular patronage.
Vermont (at least Southern Vermont, where I grew up and where my parents still spend 5 months a year) is not densely set with culinary gems. We routinely had to drive 45 minutes to get terrific restaurant meals (which, I guess, puts us in with most of the residents of Los Angeles. The difference: we were going 45 miles). One of these great restaurants is Simon Pearce, in Quechee, VT. They have an unusual combination of factory outlet store (their specialty is high-end rustic blown glass) and top restaurant. My dad has set up dinners there each of the past three years. This year's dinner was yesterday.
There is a great account of the dinner, with comments on the wines, by Thor Iverson on his blog oenoLogic. Thor is a Boston-based wine writer and educator, and has a longer track record with Tablas Creek than most writers. You can still find online an old column of his in the Boston Phoenix from the late 1990s where he discusses one of our our first efforts, as well several notes on the old wineloverspage.com bulletin boards. Plus, he's been tasting and commenting on various Tablas Creek wines on oenoLogic for a while now.
I was particularly interested in the description of the 2000 Clos Blanc, which is a wine that has gone through many phases in its seven years of life. I recently took the Tablas Creek tasting room staff through a vertical tasting of our wines back to 1996, and it was our impression that it's now going through it's awkward Roussanne middle age, although it's still an impressively rich wine.
In any case, if you missed Thor's great (and speedy) recap, check it out.