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.
Tablas Creek will join the 50 members of the Paso Robles Chapter of the Rhone Rangers for the 2016 Paso Robles Rhone Rangers Experience. This fun-filled and information-rich day will include a "Rhone Essentials" seminar moderated by Esther Mobley, Wine, Beer & Spirits Writer for the San Francisco Chronicle, a Vintners' Lunch, and the Grand Tasting and Silent Auction. For more information or to purchase tickets, click here.
In Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue 220) 15 Tablas wines topped 90 points, including 2014 Esprit de Tablas (93-96), 2013 Panoplie (94-96), and 2014 Panoplie (95-97). Read the review » More press »
February 5, 2016
By: Suphada Rom
Prior to working at Tablas Creek, I spent three years working at a small French bistro that was adjacent to a chocolate shop, which was also conveniently co-owned by the owners of the restaurant (pommes frites…check! chocolates…check!). I was in heaven learning not only about our menu, but about the chocolates we produced. As I reflect on my time there, I realized wine and chocolate have really similar foundations. Read More »