2003 Syrah

Production Notes

The 2003 Tablas Creek Vineyard Syrah is Tablas Creek’s first national release of this classic Rhone varietal. The wine displays the character of the Syrah grape exuberantly and elegantly, with classic flavors of bacon fat, wood smoke, blackberry and mineral, and should reward time in bottle to mature.

We use most of our Syrah as a part of our Esprit de Beaucastel and Côtes de Tablas blends each year. However, in 2003, we were so pleased by the classic flavors of the Syrah that we harvested that we reserved one foudre plus a few barrels of Syrah for a single-varietal.

Our Syrah grapes were grown on our 120-acre certified organic estate vineyard.

The 2003 vintage was tremendous: warm and sunny, with cool nights that prolonged the hangtime of the grapes and led to wines with excellent acidity. A relatively early flowering, combined with a warm but not overly hot summer produced unusually long hangtime, and grapes with concentrated flavors and a distinct minerality. The extended harvest meant that we harvested varietals multiple times, with Syrah (as usual our earliest-ripening red varietal) harvested principally between September 18th and 25th, although a small plots of our new clones (our “C” and “A” clones) waited until October 8th and 16th respectively.

The Syrah grapes were destemmed and then fermented using native yeasts in small open-top stainless steel tanks. After three weeks, they were pressed, and moved to a balance of new and old french oak barrels to complete their fermentation. The red wines were assembled in June of 2004, and aged for an additional year in 1200-gallon foudres, before being bottled in May 2005. The wine is unfined and unfiltered, and should be expected to throw a sediment over time.

The 2003 Syrah is a vibrant expression of the Syrah grape. A nose of pepper, black raspberry and wood smoke is followed by intense ripe flavors of blackberry and spice, fine tannins and gentle oak, and a long, elegant finish.


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Recipe Suggestions

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Food Pairings

  • Grilled steaks
  • Lamb
  • Cassoulet
  • Spicy sausages

Not Available for Purchase



  • 100% Syrah

Technical Notes

  • 14.5% Alcohol by Volume
  • 600 Cases Produced



Paso Robles Harvest Wine Weekend

Join us for Paso Robles' annual harvest celebration the weekend of October 16th-18th
All weekend: Visit our tasting room for a first look at our newest Esprit de Tablas wines from the 2013 vintage.
Friday night: Enjoy a four-course, four-wine dinner at McPhee's Grill in Templeton. $105/per person; reservations are essential. Details »
Saturday: Our winemakers will be leading interactive harvest cellar tours 10:30, 12:00, 2:00, 3:30 (20 guest limit). Free to all; no reservations needed. Details »

Tablas Creek News

Tablas Creek in The New York Times and Washington Post in August

We are pleased to have been included in recent articles in The New York Times (on creative responses to California's drought) and the Washington Post (on our 11 new AVA's) and to see the attention for Paso Robles. More recent press »

MA Shipping Permit Received!

We are thrilled to announce that we've received our shipping permit from the great state of Massachusetts. Residents of the Bay State can now order wine or become VINsider Wine Club members.  More shipping news »

On the Tablas Blog

We wind toward the close of a high quality but painfully low-yielding 2015 harvest

October 6, 2015
I snuck out yesterday morning to get some photos of the ever-diminishing portions of the vineyard that still have grapes on them. One block that I particularly wanted to see was Syrah, given that it was scheduled to be picked in the afternoon. It was looking suitably autumnal: Read More »