The 2005 Tablas Creek Vineyard Tannat is Tablas Creek’s fourth 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 (and the small section of Cabernet Sauvignon in our nursery block) were grown on our 120-acre certified organic estate vineyard.
The 2005 vintage was one of nature’s lucky breaks, with excellent quality and higher-than-normal yields. The wet winter of ’04–’05 gave the grapevines ample groundwater, and a warm period in March got the vines off to an early May flowering. The summer was uniformly sunny but relatively cool, and harvest began (relatively late for us) in the 3rd week of September. The grapes spent nearly a month longer than normal on the vine, and the resulting wines were intensely mineral, with good structure and powerful aromatics. Our Tannat and Cabernet were both harvested in one day on October 13th.
The Tannat and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes are destemmed and co-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 2007, and we aged it a further 9 months in bottle before releasing it in March of 2008.
The 2005 Tannat shows a dense purple-red color and has a nose of tobacco, smoke, game herbs (sage and juniper), chocolate and ripe berries. The rich palate has juicy flavors of raspberry and plum, with big but ripe tannins, and a long, smoky, 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 and drink well for a decade more.
Join founders Robert and Barbara Haas and Winemaker Neil Collins on an intimate river cruise up the Rhone Valley from Avignon to Lyon August 2-9, 2015. Daily shore tours include a behind-the-scenes visit to Chateau de Beaucastel. Details »
We are thrilled that both our 2013 Dianthus and 2013 Patelin de Tablas Rosé received 91 points from Wine Advocate, as well as recommendations from the Wine Spectator and from the New York Times. We expect both to be out of stock by August, so if you want some, act soon. Order » Browse recent press »