2003 Tannat

Production Notes

The 2003 Tablas Creek Vineyard Tannat is Tablas Creek’s second bottling of this traditional varietal from South-West France, known principally in the Pyrenees foothills appellation of Madiran, but originally native to the Basque region. The Tannat grape has intense fruit, spice, and tannins that produce wines capable of long aging, and it is traditionally blended with Cabernet Sauvignon or Cabernet Franc.

When we imported our Châteauneuf du Pape clones, the Perrins’ French nurseryman included the Tannat because he believed it would thrive in the rocky limestone soils of Paso Robles. We have planted just under an acre of Tannat, and it has indeed thrived here.

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 Tannat was harvested on one day on September 23rd, and our small block of Cabernet Sauvignon on October 16th.

The Tannat and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes are destemmed and fermented using native yeasts. The wines were then moved to small barrels where they were aged for 18 months. The wine was bottled in July of 2005, and we aged it a further 9 months in bottle before releasing it in April of 2006.

The 2003 Tannat shows a dense purple-red color and has a nose of tobacco, smoke, and ripe berries. The rich palate has juicy flavors of raspberry and plum, with ripe tannins surrounded by fruit, and a long, generous finish. Although the wine is surprisingly approachable (for a Tannat) now, we believe that it will benefit from 3–5 years of bottle aging.


[...more recent Tablas Creek press]

Recipe Suggestions

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Food Pairings

  • Game stews
  • Pepper steak
  • Szechuan beef
  • Duck breast

Not Available for Purchase



  • 87% Tannat
  • 13% Cabernet Sauvignon

Technical Notes

  • 14.8% Alcohol by Volume
  • 180 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 »