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.


[...more recent Tablas Creek press]

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



2014 Barrel Tasting and En Primeur Offering

On December 5th, all Tablas Creek wine club members are invited to join Tablas Creek's winemakers at one of two sessions (10:30am or 1:30pm) to taste the 2014 Esprit de Tablas and 2014 Panoplie from barrel, discuss the vintage, and enjoy a seasonal dish created to pair with the wines. The $30 cost to attend the event is refundable on any en primeur purchase.  Because of the limited space at this exclusive event, club members may bring no more than 2 guests. Details »

Whether or not they attend the tasting, members may order futures at an additional 5% off of the member club discount, typically 25%-30% off eventual release price. Members should look forward to receiving an invitation to the futures tasting and en primeur offering in the mail in early November. 

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

In the spirit of a winemaker- Q & A with Assistant Winemaker Chelsea Franchi

November 21, 2015
by: Lauren Phelps
I recently sat down with Chelsea and asked her a few questions about her life, what brought her into the wine industry and how she became an essential member of the Tablas Creek family. Read More »