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.
Join us for the Paso Robles Wine Community's biggest celebration! We'll pour Esprit de Beaucastel at Friday's Reserve Event and a range of new releases at Saturday's Grand Tasting. And all weekend we'll have special wines open at the winery and will be taking tours to visit our herd of sheep, alpacas and donkeys. Sunday 11am to 1:30pm enjoy Chef Jacob Lovejoy's small plates, free with a tasting. Details & more events »
In May, we're featuring our 2011 Cotes de Tablas Blanc at a 10% discount. In 2011, our Viognier crop was cut by 80% due to spring frost, leaving a tiny, intense yield of less than one-half a ton per acre. The resulting wine is rich and tropical, with stone fruits and honey, but at the same time firmly dry, with a very long, saline & mineral finish. Details »
May 15, 2013
Take a look at the seven-line entry of Frank Schoonmaker, America’s foremost wine expert and author in 1964, about terroir. His association, rather than the "somewhereness" the wine exhibits, is more of a taste of dirt, neither elegant nor elevated: "somewhat unpleasant, common, persistent”. My, how things have changed. More »