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Tablas Creek Esprit de Beaucastel Blanc 2002

Rhone White Blends from Central Coast, California
  • RP93
0% ABV
  • RP94
  • RP94
  • CG92
  • WE91
  • W&S93
  • RP91
  • RP93
  • W&S93
  • RP91
  • WE95
  • RP92
  • W&S94
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Winemaker Notes

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.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 93
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
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Tablas Creek

Tablas Creek Vineyard

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Tablas Creek Vineyard, Central Coast, California
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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.

Central Coast

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The largest and perhaps most varied of California’s wine-growing regions, the Central Coast produces a good majority of the state's wine. This vast district stretches from San Francisco all the way to Santa Barbara along the coast, and reaches inland nearly all the way to the Central Valley.

Encompassing an extremely diverse array of climates, soil types and wine styles, it contains many smaller sub-AVAs, including San Francisco Bay, Monterey, the Santa Cruz Mountains, Paso Robles, Edna Valley, Santa Ynez Valley and Santa Maria Valley.

While the region could probably support almost any major grape varietiy, it is famous for a few. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel are among the major ones. The Central Coast is home to many of the state's small, artisanal wineries crafting unique, high-quality wines, as well as larger producers also making exceptional wines.

Rhône White Blends

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Full-bodied and flavorful, white Rhône blends originate from France’s Rhône Valley. Today these blends are also becoming popular in other regions, proving most successful in Spain, Australia and California. Typically some combination of Grenache blanc, Marsanne, Roussanne and Viognier form the basis of a white Rhône blend with varyiong degrees of flexibility depending on the exact appellation.

In the Glass

Each variety contibutes something unique and different. Round, textural Grenache blanc gives green apple and white stone fruit flavors; weighty Marsanne adds structure and honeysuckle aromas; russet-colored Roussanne lends intriguing herbal, tea-like notes while Viognier provides a creamy texture and elegant aromatics. The flavor of the final wine will depend on the chosen components of the blend and their respective proportions.

Perfect Pairings

White Rhône blends are quite versatile food pairing wines and can work with light to medium rich meals that might often be matched to red wines. Heavier fish dishes with bold seasoning like grilled swordfish with caper butter or baked, herb-crusted mahi mahi are natural allies for these flavorful wines. Other ideal dishes include roast pork in mustard sauce, poached lobster with beurre blanc, or a rich and savory vegetable quiche. `

Sommelier Secret

In the Northern Rhône, blends of Marsanne and Roussanne are common in the appellations of St.-Joseph, Crozes-Hermitage, Hermitage and St-Péray. Condrieu and Château-Grillet can produce single-varietal Viognier only. The Southern Rhône, on the other hand, has much more variety, with many more permitted grapes including the ones named above as well as Bourboulenc, Clairette, Picpoul and Ugni Blanc.

CVI122146_2002 Item# 74847