The 2002 Tablas Creek Vineyard Tannat is Tablas Creek’s first 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.
- Paso Robles
- 86% Tannat
- 14% Cabernet Sauvignon
- 14.8% Alcohol by Volume
- 70 Cases Produced
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 2002 vintage was wonderfully balanced, with warm days, cool nights, and a long, glorious fall. Low yields (2.5–3 tons per acre) produced concentrated flavors, while the dry year emphasized the mineral character of the limestone soils. The Tannat was harvested two times: our nursery block (along with our small amount of Cabernet Sauvignon) on October 3, and then our Tannat block on October 24.
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 April of 2004, and we aged it a further year in bottle before releasing it in May of 2005.
The 2002 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 a long, generous finish. Although the wine is impressive now, we believe that it will benefit from 3–5 years of bottle aging.