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The Tablas Creek Vineyard 2016 Tannat is Tablas Creek’s fourteenth 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 2016 Tannat shows a dense purple-black color and has a dark, spicy nose of juniper, figs, tobacco, crushed rock and black pepper. The palate is chewy with flavors of black cherry, meat drippings, rosemary, baker's chocolate, a little spicy oak, and an iron-like minerality that shows the wine’s youth. The wine shows Tannat’s characteristic powerful tannins on the finish, begging for a fatty steak right now and promising a decade or more of ageworthiness in the cellar.
- Adelaida District Paso Robles
- 100% Tannat
- 14.5 Alcohol by Volume
- 770 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 2016 vintage, while still marked by drought, saw better rainfall than the four previous years, and the vineyards showed good health through most of the growing season. That season started with a very early budbreak and continued warm weather spurred our earliest-ever beginning to harvest, on August 18th. But beginning mid-August, three cool weeks slowed the ripening for all but our earliest grapes, and allowed them to reach flavor and phenolic maturity with slightly above-average hang time. The resulting vintage shows excellent concentration but also remarkable vibrancy, with electric acids framing appealing juiciness.
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 2018.