The Tablas Creek Vineyard Esprit de Beaucastel Blanc 2001 is a blend of four estate-grown varietals, propagated from budwood cuttings from the Château de Beaucastel estate.
The 2001 vintage saw an early spring frost that cut down on the quantity of fruit, but the result was wines of remarkable intensity. A hot, sunny summer further concentrated the grapes, while cool nights maintained the character of the aromatic varietals. The harvest began on August 27th with the Viognier, and continued with Roussanne, then Marsanne, each about a week apart. It concluded with the Grenache Blanc on September 17th.
The fruit is whole cluster pressed, and fermented with native yeasts. The Roussanne was fermented half in stainless steel fermenters and half in small oak "pieces", while the other varietals were fermented 100% in stainless steel. To maintain crisp acidity on the finish, a portion of the Viognier and the Grenache Blanc were prevented from completing malolactic fermentation. The wines were racked, blended, and cold stabilized, and bottled in April 2001.
The 2001 Esprit de Beaucastel Blanc is a richly intense wine, with aromatics of peaches, pears, honeysuckle and anise, and flavors of honey, green apple, pear, and licorice, balanced by crisp acidity on the finish. Best served slightly chilled, but not ice cold.