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.
Even though we don’t produce Zinfandel, we’ll be celebrating Vintage Paso (formerly Zinfandel Festival) the weekend of March 20th. In celebration of California’s heritage grapes, we’ll focus on the dry-farmed, head-trained vines of Tablas Creek and lead short forays into the vineyard to discuss the impact of farming without irrigation. You’ll even get to taste the 2012 En Gobelet among the vines which produced it. Details & More Events »
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 »
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 »
February 23, 2015
Normally, the sign at the edge of our head-trained Mourvedre vineyard just outside our tasting room is to protect people from a twisted ankle, should they stray off the tarmac. Now, we're worried we might lose them in the cover crop! Read More »