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Tablas Creek Esprit de Beaucastel Rouge 2007

Rhone Red Blends from Paso Robles, Central Coast, California
  • RP95
  • WS94
  • ST94
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Winemaker Notes

#33 Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2010

The Tablas Creek Vineyard Esprit de Beaucastel 2007 is a blend of four estate-grown varietals, propagated from budwood cuttings from the Château de Beaucastel estate. The wine is based on the dark red fruit, earth, spice and mid-palate richness of Mourvedre, with additions of Grenache for forward fruit, approachability and lushness, Syrah for mineral, aromatics, and back-palate tannins, and Counoise for brambly spice and acidity.

The 2007 vintage was the best vintage we've yet seen at Tablas Creek. Yields were very low (down between 15% and 30%, depending on variety) due to a cold and very dry winter, which produced small berries and small clusters. A moderate summer without any significant heat spikes followed, allowing gradual ripening, and producing red wines with tremendous intensity, excellent freshness and a lushness to the fruit which cloaks tannins that should allow the wines to age gracefully. Syrah began the harvest of our reds between September 5th and October 3rd, followed by Grenache between September 25th and October 22nd, the Counoise between October 11th and 30th and the Mourvedre throughout October and completing the harvest on October 30th.

As with all our wines, the grapes for our Esprit de Beaucastel were grown on our 120-acre certified organic estate vineyard.

Critical Acclaim

RP 95
The Wine Advocate

The prodigious 2007 Esprit de Beaucastel is a blend of 44% Mourvedre, 29% Grenache, 21% Syrah, and the rest Counoise. A very great wine, very much in the mold of its French cousin, Chateau Beaucastel, the wine has a saturated ruby/purple color and a gorgeous nose of melted licorice, charcoal, blueberry, and blackberries intermixed with freshly sliced mushrooms, tree bark, and pepper. Spicy, dense, full-bodied, and extraordinarily complex, yet at the same time well-delineated and fresh, it should drink well for 10-15+ years.

WS 94
Wine Spectator

Rich, dry and full-bodied, with loamy earth, dried berry, mineral, anise and black licorice flavors that run deep and persistent, layered and concentrated, ending with a long, tight finish. Mourvèdre, Grenache, Syrah and Counoise. Drink now through 2017.

ST 94
International Wine Cellar

Vivid red. Impressively complex bouquet melds raspberry, cherry pit, cassis and incense, with smoky Indian spice and herbal qualities adding complexity. Rich, palate-coating red and dark berry preserve flavors verge on decadent but are nicely framed by velvety tannins. A sweet floral note come up with air and carries through the strikingly long, juicy and spicy finish. I'd serve this powerful, deeply fruity wine with braised lamb.

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Tablas Creek

Tablas Creek Vineyard

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Tablas Creek Vineyard, , California
Tablas Creek
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.

Bordeaux

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One of the most important wine regions of the world both qualitatively and quantitatively...

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One of the most important wine regions of the world both qualitatively and quantitatively, Bordeaux is a powerhouse producer of wines of all colors, sweetness levels, and price points. Separated from the Atlantic ocean by a coastal pine forest, the mostly flat region has a mild maritime climate marked by cool wet winters and a warm, damp growing season, though annual differences vary enough to make vintage variation quite significant. Unpredictable weather at harvest time may negatively impact the ability of cornerstone variety Cabernet Sauvignon to ripen fully, while humid conditions can encourage the spread of rot and disease (although in the case of the region’s sweet white wines, “noble” rot known as botrytis is highly desirable). The Gironde estuary is a defining feature of Bordeaux, splitting the region into the Left Bank and the Right Bank. The vast Entre-Deux-Mers appellation lies in between.

The Left Bank, dominated by Cabernet Sauvignon, contains the Médoc, Graves, and Sauternes, as well as most of the region’s most famous chateaux. Here, Merlot is commonly planted as an insurance policy in case Cabernet fails to fully ripen in difficult years. Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, and Malbec may also be used in blends. This tends to be the more structured and age-worthy side of Bordeaux. Merlot is the principal variety of the Right Bank, with Cabernet Franc as its primary sidekick, with the other three varieties available for blending. The key appellations here include St. Emilion and Pomerol, whose wines are often plush, supple, and more imminently ready for drinking. Dry and sweet white wines are produced throughout the region from Sauvignon Blanc, Sémillon, and sometimes Muscadelle or Sauvignon Gris. Some of the finest dry whites can be found in the the Graves sub-appellation of Pessac-Léognan, while Sauternes is undisputedly the gold standard for sweet wines. Small amounts of rosé and sparkling wine are made in Bordeaux as well.

Bordeaux Blends

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One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine...

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One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington, and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and/or Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde river, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.

In the Glass

Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines modeled after the Right Bank are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure. Wines from Bordeaux can be bold and fruit-forward or restrained and earthy, while New World facsimiles tend to emulate the former style. In general, Bordeaux red blends can have aromas and flavors of black currant, cedar, plum, graphite, and violet, with more red fruit flavors when Merlot makes up a high proportion of the blend.

Perfect Pairings

Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful, and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb, or smoked duck.

Sommelier Secret

While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include Syrah, Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, or virtually any other grape deemed worthy by the winemaker. In Australia, Shiraz is a common component.

ENGESPRIT_2007 Item# 101246

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