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.

Reviews

[...more recent Tablas Creek press]

Recipe Suggestions

[...more recipes]

Food Pairings

  • Grilled steaks
  • Lamb
  • Cassoulet
  • Spicy sausages
Syrah

Not Available for Purchase

$40.00

Blend

  • 100% Syrah

Technical Notes

  • 14.5% Alcohol by Volume
  • 600 Cases Produced

Downloads

Events

En Gobelet Vertical Tasting and Dry Farming Exploration

Since 2007, we have made our En Gobelet exclusively from dry-farmed, head-trained vineyard blocks. The results have been so compelling that we're planning to plant our entire new parcel -- all 55 acres -- in this style over the coming decade. Join us for this vertical tasting of every vintage of En Gobelet, from the 2007 to the newly-blended 2014. We'll also offer, before the tasting, an optional hike led by Viticulturist Levi Glenn through the rugged Scruffy Hill block from which we source most of the wine, and finish with a picnic lunch on our patio. $60 for wine club members and $75 for guests. Reservations are essential; we expect this to sell out. To reserve, email us at events@tablascreek.com or call us at 805.237.1231 ext 30.  Details & More Events »


Tablas Creek News

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 »

Antonio Galloni 8/14: 30 Wines 90+

In August, Antonio Galloni published the results of his annual visit to Tablas Creek, and we were excited to receive such good reviews from this notoriously tough grader. Notes included the 2012 Esprit de Tablas Blanc (92 points; “impeccably refined”), 2011 Panoplie (94 points; "pure elegance"), 2012 Patelin de Tablas (90 points; “a gorgeous wine and a fabulous value”), and the 2012 Esprit de Tablas (93-95 points; "a fascinating Esprit to follow over the coming years"). Read the complete review » More recent press »


On the Tablas Blog

Dry Farming in California's Drought, Part 3: How We Got Here (and Where We Go Next)

May 26, 2015
I was struck by a quote from Tegan Passalaqua, the winemaker at Turley, in a recent article on JancisRobinson.com. In an interview with Alder Yarrow, Tegan said "In a Mediterranean climate like we have, vertical shoot positioning and 3 by 6 vineyard spacing is basically farming hydroponically".

Hydroponic farming, with its overtones of bland supermarket tomatoes, seems an unlikely candidate to provide the intensity and ripeness that a winemaker would expect from California. But in its essence, that the farmer is providing everything that a plant needs to bear fruit, I don't think he's far off. It's worth taking a few moments to understand how grapevines came to be so widely irrigated in California. Read More »