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The Tablas Creek Vineyard 2017 Tannat is Tablas Creek’s sixteenth 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. Tannat typically has intense fruit, spice, and tannins that produce wines capable of long aging.
The 2017 Tannat shows spicy licorice and black pepper aromas, with a savory spruce forest note over black plum and elderberry fruit. The mouth is dense and richly tannic, packed with flavors of fruitcake and sugarplum and Tannat's characteristic (and welcome) floral undertone reminiscent of violets. The finish is approachable for a Tannat at this stage, with tannins cloaked in sweet fruit. A wine to drink any time over the next two decades.
Watch Chelsea and the Shepherd discuss the wine: Tasting 2017 Tannat with Chelsea and the Shepherd
- Adelaida District Paso Robles
- 96% Tannat
- 4% Cabernet Sauvignon
- 14.5% Alcohol by Volume
- 1110 Cases Produced
Recipes & Pairings
- Game stews
- Pepper steak
- Szechuan beef
- Duck breast
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 and biodynamic estate vineyard.
The 2017 vintage saw our drought end with a bang, as we received 43 inches of rain and saw our rainiest month ever in January. The wet soils delayed budbreak to a normal time frame, and produced such a healthy vineyard that we saw canopy sizes and cane lengths we hadn’t seen in years. The summer began relatively cool, but was punctuated by two heat spikes, one in early July and the other in late August, that accelerated ripening and produced intense flavors. The resulting vintage shows the health of the vines with a combination of concentration and freshness, with bright acids framing powerful fruit.
The Tannat grapes were destemmed and fermented using native yeasts. As we do many years, we blended in our small harvest of Cabernet Sauvignon, making the wine is 96% Tannat and 4% Cabernet. We aged it in one foudre and a mix of new and older smaller barrels for nearly 2 years before bottling it in April 2019, and then aged it another 10 months in bottle before release.