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The Tablas Creek Vineyard 2015 Tannat is Tablas Creek’s thirteenth 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.
The 2015 Tannat is deep and powerful on the nose, with savory elements of tobacco and smoked meat sitting above red plum, chalky minerality and a characteristic floral violet note. On the palate, the wine shows Tannat’s power, but with a refinement due to the long, gradual ripening cycle that may surprise those more familiar with its Old World renditions: dark red fruit, meat drippings, and a tangy vibrancy that should serve it well as it ages in the cellar.
- 100% Tannat
- 14.5 Alcohol by Volume
- 700 Cases Produced
When we imported our Châteauneuf du Pape clones, the Perrins’ French nurseryman included Tannat cuttings because he believed the grape would thrive in the rocky limestone soils of Paso Robles. We have planted 3.5 acres of Tannat, and it has indeed thrived here.
Our Tannat grapes are grown on our certified organic estate vineyard.
The 2015 vintage saw dramatically reduced yields from the combined effects of four years of drought and cool, unsettled weather during May's flowering. Months alternated between significantly cooler than normal and significantly warmer than normal, which produced an early start to harvest but required multiple passes through most vineyard blocks during a long, drawn-out picking season. Yields were down as much as 50% in early-ripening grapes like Syrah, while later grapes like Mourvedre were only down slightly. The result was a vintage with excellent concentration but unusually good acids, and wines with dramatic aromas, texture, and intensity. Our Tannat was harvested between September 23rd and October 5th.
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 and then bottled in April of 2017.