Tablas Creek Esprit de Beaucastel Rouge 2009
Rhone Red Blends from Central Coast, California
The 2009 Esprit de Beaucastel shows a deep, spicy nose with dark fruit, crushed rock, cocoa and licorice. The palate shows blackberry, black raspberry, and currant fruit highlighted by a persistent minerality, lush texture and substantial but fine-grained tannins. The power of the tannins and the concentration of the wine suggest that it will benefit from short- to mid-term cellaring, and drink well for two decades or more.
Vinous / Antonio Galloni - "I am thrilled to see the 2009 Esprit de Beaucastel burst from the glass with an exciting melange of dark red cherries, flowers, sweet herbs, mint and spices. Exotic spiced notes linger on the finish. The 2009 boasts serious intensity, richness and depth, but it remains quite tannic and in need of further bottle age. The vintage saw both frost and drought, two conditions that are a little unusual in the same year. Now that it is in bottle, the 2009 meets all of the expectations I had when I tasted it from barrel last year. The blend is 40% Mourvedre, 28% Syrah, 27% Grenache and 5% Counoise. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2024."
International Wine Cellar - "Vivid ruby-red. Sexy, highly perfumed aromas of candied raspberry, potpourri, Asian spices, sandalwood and licorice, with zesty minerality emerging with aeration. Suave, fresh and lithe, showing impressive definition and florality to its seamless red fruit flavors. The spicy, very long finish features gentle tannins and a flavor of red raspberry. A very polished blend."
Wine & Spirits - "Grown on the calcareous clay hillsides of this estate in western Paso Robles, Esprit is built on mourvedre, blended with grenache, syrah and counoise. Spring frosts and three years of drought reduced the crop by 30 percent, the vintage yielding fruit that feels concentrated, healthy and cool with wild strawberry and dark red berry freshness. Tannins keep it focused along a chalk line of flavor, expanding into layers of spice and fruit in the middle, then tightening again into a clean finish. Decant it for spit-roasted lamb."
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Tablas Creek Vineyard Winery
The Perrins of Chateau de Beaucastel and Robert Haas, their importer since 1970, founded Tablas Creek Vineyard in 1990. They chose their 1600-foot elevation site in West Paso Robles' Las Tablas because of its chalky clay soils and its climate similar to the southern Rhone Valley. They imported selected French cuttings of Mourvedre, Grenache, Syrah and Counoise and multiplied, grafted and planted their own vines, which they farm organically. This blended wine, in the image of Chateauneuf-du-Pape, is 100% estate-grown and bottled. View all Tablas Creek Vineyard Wines
About Central CoastView a map of Central Coast wineries
The largest of California's wine growing regions, the Central Coast produces the majority of California's wine. The district sprawls out, covering most of the vineyard land between San Francisco and Santa Barbara. Smaller sub-AVAs of the Central Coast include Monterey Bay, Paso Robles, Santa Ynez Valley, Santa Maria Valley, Santa Cruz Mountains and many others.
Notable FactsGrape varieties range from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay to Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel. Some Central Coast wine is generic, bulk wine that contributes to the high production numbers of the area. But many winemakers and wineries, particular in some of the smaller AVAs, are small production artisans, creating unique and high-quality wine. The great thing about the Central Coast is its diversity - you're able to find a number of grape varieties and styles at a number of different price points.
About CaliforniaIt's not rare to see a wine's country of origin listed as "California." A country into itself in the wine world, California makes enough varieties and styles to match many European wine countries. It produces a diverse range of wines that span the quality spectrum.
The most famous of the California wine regions is Napa Valley, and these wines are certainly outstanding – but it's not as broad and diverse as its larger neighbor, Sonoma County. Down south, Santa Barbara's Santa Maria Valley is well-known for its Rhône blends, as well as cool-climate varieties like Pinot and Chardonnay. The Central Coast, the largest California AVA, has many different microclimates that lead to a wide range of wines with many sub-AVAs.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.