The 2010 Tablas Creek Vineyard Tannat is Tablas Creek’s ninth 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.
Our Tannat grapes are grown on our 120-acre certified organic estate vineyard.
The 2010 vintage saw healthy rainfall after three years of drought. The ample early-season groundwater and a lack of spring frosts produced a good fruit set. A very cool summer delayed ripening by roughly three weeks, with harvest not beginning until mid-September and still less than half complete in mid-October. Warm, sunny weather between mid-October and mid-November allowed the later-ripening varieties to reach full maturity. The long hangtime and cool temperatures combined to produce fruit with intense flavors and dark color at low alcohol levels. Our Tannat was harvested between October 14th and 18th.
The Tannat grapes were destemmed and fermented using native yeasts. The wine was then moved to small barrels where it was aged for 18 months. The wine was bottled in May of 2011. While in many vinages we blend in our small production of Cabernet Sauvignon with our Tannat, in 2010 we were so taken with the Cabernet, and so pleased with the Tannat's balance, that we bottled each separately.
The 2010 Tannat is a vibrant red-black in color, with plush, polished black raspberry, smoked meat and laquered wood on the nose. The flavors that follow are surprisingly pretty, pure and seamless for a Tannat this young, before a wash of tannins reassert control. The lingering finish vibrates between sweet fruit and dusty, loamy earth. Drink this now or cellar for a decade or more.
Each summer, we pick a wine that we make and delve into how our understanding of it has evolved over the years, and how it has aged in the decade-plus since we started. This summer, we turn our attention to Mourvèdre. You may know it best as the backbone varietal for our flagship Esprit de Tablas and our elite blend Panoplie. But we’ve bottled it on its own most years since 2003. Join us in the cellar Saturday, July 16th for a vertical tasting of every vintage of our varietal Mourvèdre, from that first 2003 to the newly-bottled 2014. The cost is just $50 for wine club members and $65 for guests. Reservations are essential; we expect this to sell out. To reserve, email us at email@example.com or call us at 805.237.1231 ext 36. And for a preview, check out our blog post on a 2014 Mourvèdre retrospective.
We were proud to learn that Tablas Creek Partner/GM Jason Haas was voted by his peers the 2015 Paso Robles Wine Industry Person of the Year. His father, our founder Robert Haas, wrote this appreciation on our blog.
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 »
May 16, 2016
By: Suphada Rom
The repertoire of wines that I work with at Tablas Creek are French-centric: Rhone, with a California inflection. This means that I'm surrounded by complex blends. Still, we've tried to bring to light some of our lesser known varieties, to help people understand what makes them appealing. In fact, one of my favorite things about our tasting room experience is sharing some of the more obscure and rare bottlings of solo bottlings of things normally found on their own. Like Counoise. Or, when I have someone really interested in our white wines, Picpoul Blanc. Read More »