2013 Tablas Creek Adelaida District Syrah (Previously $40)

SKU #1298829 91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 One of the standouts in the single variety blends was the 2013 Syrah which saw 19 months in 2-year-old foudre. It's a beautiful and classic Syrah that has an inky purple color, lots of black fruits, peppery herbs and smoked earth aromas and flavors plus medium to full-bodied richness on the palate. Showing the standard freshness and purity of the estate, it will impress for upward of a decade. I had a terrific visit with Jason Haas and Neil Collins at Tablas Creek, and while I think their 2012s are a step back, the 2013s are superb, and the 2014s look even better. In addition, I was able to do a full 2005 retrospective, but will publish that as a stand-alone report at a later date. (JD)  (8/2015)

91 points Vinous

 Bright violet color. A wild, highly perfumed bouquet evokes dark berries, cola, olive paste and floral oils, with a subtle mineral nuance in the background. Smoky and seamless on the palate, offering juicy black raspberry and cassis flavors that open quickly with aeration. Finishes smooth, sweet and long, with a recurring floral note, gentle tannins and building spiciness. I tasted through this year's new and upcoming releases with long-time winemaker and vineyard manager Neil Collins and assistant winemaker Chelsea Franchi, who has been at Tablas Creek since graduating from Cal Poly in 2008. Franchi has become more deeply involved in the winemaking here in recent years, a time when, as Collins said, "the vines are really coming into maturity and showing what the vineyards can deliver." There's a serious dedication to bush vine-planting (en gobelet) and dry farming at the estate, a process that requires considerable extra labor and raises the risk of decreased yields, but which most winemakers, including Collins, Franchi and the Haas and Perrin families, are convinced allows for maximum site expression and wine concentration. The Tablas Creek wines have an admirable track record for rewarding cellaring, all the way down to the entry-level bottlings, so readers are well-advised to stash a few bottles away, assuming they have patience and storage space. (JR)  (6/2015)

90 points Connoisseurs Guide

 *One Star* Very keenly focused blackberry aromas add suggestions of dried currants for extra breadth and back everything up with notions of dark soils and briary spice. Its flavors come with the same blend of ripe fruit and early complexity supported by a veneer of tannic solidity that, together with the confident fruit at its heart, insures that the wine will age well over the next four to six years or so, and may last longer yet.  (3/2016)

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Staff Image By: Jim Boyce | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 6/5/2017 | Send Email
19 months in foudre, current vintage. Herbal and savory Syrah, with blue fruit, black olive, cracked black pepper, dry aged meat, and serious grip on the finish. This wine has the structure to age a decade easily.

Additional Information:



- One of France's noblest black grape varieties, Syrah is known for its intense and distinctive perfume reminiscent of briar fruit, tar, spice and black pepper and its firm structure. One of few black grape varietals frequently vinified on its own, the best examples of Syrah come from the Northern Rhône, particularly Hermitage, but also Côte-Rôtie, Cornas, Crozes-Hermitage and St-Joseph. These wines are very astringent in their youth, though some Crozes-Hermitage and St-Joseph can be enjoyed young, relatively speaking. Given the requisite patience, though, these wines can reveal amazing complexity and secondary fruit characteristics like plum and blackcurrant as well as subtle hints of smoke and flowers. In the Southern Rhône, Syrah is used to add structure and complexity to wines dominated by Grenache and complemented by Mourvèdre, like the more immediately drinkable Côte du Rhônes, as well as the long-lived wines of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. In recent years, plantings of Syrah have spread throughout the Languedoc-Roussillon where it is produced on its own or blended with other varietals. Outside of France, the most important Syrah growing country is easily Australia, where it is called Shiraz. Quality levels here depend greatly on yields and geography, and the wines range from bold, fruity and easy-drinking to intense and ageable, like the famed Penfolds Grange. Often bottled on its own, in Australia Syrah is also can be blended with Grenache and Mourvèdre, as in the Southern Rhône, and is increasingly combined with Cabernet Sauvignon. Syrah has also been steadily increasing in popularity in California, thanks to a group of advocates called the Rhône Rangers. Its most successful iterations come from the Central and Sonoma Coasts, where winemakers are pushing boundaries and creating some incredible wines. In recent years Syrah has also found a number of proponents in Washington State, which is definitely a region to watch for this variety.

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world.


- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year.
Specific Appellation:

Paso Robles

- Located about halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles, this inland AVA enjoys a sunny and hot growing period while its seaside neighbors hang in the fog. Zinfandel is the traditional red grape of choice, though cabernet, chardonnay, and Rhône varietals are gaining favor. Most are made in a fruit-forward, early drinking style.