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Tablas Creek Esprit de Beaucastel Rouge 2009

Rhone Red Blends from Paso Robles, Central Coast, California
  • RP94
  • W&S92
14.5% ABV
  • RP95
  • RP93
  • WS90
  • RP97
  • WS94
  • WS93
  • RP93
  • CG90
  • RP92
  • RP92
  • WE90
  • RP92
  • WS92
  • RP92
  • RP93
  • W&S90
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14.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

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.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 94
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
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.
W&S 92
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

Tablas Creek Vineyard

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Tablas Creek Vineyard, Paso Robles, 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.

Paso Robles

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Paso Robles has made a name for itself as a source of supple, powerful, fruit-driven wines wines. But with eleven smaller sub-AVAs, there is actually quite a bit of diversity to be found in this inland portion of California’s Central Coast.

Just east over the Santa Lucia Mountains from the chilly Pacific Ocean, lie the coolest in the region: Adelaida, Templeton Gap and (Paso Robles) Willow Creek Districts, as well as York Mountain AVA and Santa Margarita Ranch. These all experience more ocean fog, wind and precipitation compared to the rest of the Paso sub-appellations. The San Miguel, (Paso Robles) Estrella, (Paso Robles) Geneso, (Paso Robles) Highlands, El Pomar and Creston Districts, along with San Juan Creek, are the hotter, more western appellations of the greater Paso Robles AVA.

This is mostly red wine country, with Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel standing out as the star performers. Other popular varieties include Merlot, Petite Sirah, Petit Verdot, Syrah, Grenache and Rhône blends, both red and white. There is a fairly uniform tendency here towards wines that are unapologetically bold and opulently fruit-driven, albeit with a surprising amount of acidity thanks to the region’s chilly nighttime temperatures.

Rhône Blends

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With bold fruit flavors and accents of sweet spice, red Rhône blends originated from France’s southern Rhône Valley. Grenache, supported by Syrah and Mourvèdre typically form the base of the blend, while Carignan, Cinsault and Counoise often come in to play. With some creative interpretation, Rhône blends have also become popular in Priorat, Washington, Australia and California.

In the Glass

The taste profile of a Rhône blend will vary according to its individual components, as each variety brings something different to the glass. Grenache is the lightest in color but contributes plenty of ripe red fruit and a plush texture. Syrah supplies dark fruit flavors, along with savory, spicy and earthy notes. Mourvèdre is responsible for a floral perfume and earthy flavor as well as structure and a healthy dose of color. New World examples tend to be fruit-forward in style, while those from the Old World will often have more earth, structure and herbal components on top of ripe red and blue fruit.

Perfect Pairings

Rhône red blends typically make for very food-friendly wines. These can work with a wide variety of meat-based dishes, playing equally well with beef, pork, lamb or game. Braised beef cheeks, grilled steak or sausages, roasted pork and squab are all fine pairings.

Sommelier Secret

Some regions like to put their own local spin on the red Rhône blend—for example, in Australia’s Barossa Valley, Shiraz is commonly blended with Cabernet Sauvignon to add structure, tannin and a long finish. Grenache-based blends from Priorat often include Carignan (known locally as Cariñena) and Syrah, but also international varieties like Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. In California, anything goes, and it is not uncommon to see Petite Sirah make an appearance.

RGL0309137SX_2009 Item# 113509