Tablas Creek Esprit de Beaucastel Rouge (375ML half-bottle) 2006
Rhone Red Blends from Central Coast, California
#50 Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2009
The 2006 Esprit de Beaucastel is delicious and unusually approachable right now, with a complex nose of red plum, ripe cherry, fresh figs and candied orange peel, a velvety, layered palate with spicy plum and cherry fruit, pepper and nutmeg spices, and excellent breadth. The finish shows more mineral, plum, and spice, and a little gentle oak from the foudre aging. It is delicious now, if very young, and should evolve elegantly in bottle for 10-15 years or longer.
Wine Spectator - "Well-balanced, intense yet elegant. Full-bodied, showing vivid blueberry and wild berry flavors, with hints of nutmeg, cedar and coconut. Ends with a long, complex finish that shows a pleasant loamy, earthy quality. Mourvèdre, Grenache, Syrah and Counoise. Drink now through 2014. 3,500 cases made."
International Wine Cellar - "Deep red with a bright rim. Spicy red berries, potpourri and minerals on the nose; this smells awfully fresh. Bright, palate-staining raspberry and blackcurrant flavors possess excellent concentration and are leavened by zesty minerality. Finishes smooth and silky, with echoing raspberry and floral qualities. This is complex enough to enjoy right now."
The Wine Advocate - "The brilliant 2006 Esprit de Beaucastel (45% Mourvedre, 28% Grenache, 22% Syrah, and the rest Counoise) possesses abundant aromas of underbrush, blueberries, blackberries, coffee beans, and licorice. An elegant, long, pure, medium to full-bodied effort, it is a faithful representation of its Mediterranean blend. Consume it over the next decade. "
Connoisseurs' Guide - "45% Mourvedre ; 28% Grenache; 22% Syrah; 5% Counoise. If both a bit riper and a bit fatter than the classic Chateauneuf-du-Pape style evoked by its namesake, this dense, fairly full-bodied wine tastes of plums, pomegranate, sweet oak and a sprinkling of "herbes de Provence". Its slightly viscous start is contrasted by its moderately tannic finish, and, albeit a tasty wine now, it will be more enjoyable still after being allowed to knit together for several more years."
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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.