The Tablas Creek Vineyard Esprit de Beaucastel Blanc 2009 is a blend of three estate-grown varietals, propagated from budwood cuttings from the Château de Beaucastel estate. Roussanne provides the core richness, minerality, and flavors of honey and spice, while Grenache Blanc adds green apple and anise flavors, a lush mouthfeel and bright acids. Picpoul Blanc completes the blend, adding a saline minerality and tropical notes.
The 2009 vintage was our third consecutive drought year, with yields further reduced by April frosts. Berries and clusters were small, with excellent concentration. Ripening over the summer was gradual and our white harvest complete except for a few Roussanne lots at the time of a major rainstorm on October 13th. Crop sizes were 10% smaller than 2008 and 30% lower than usual. The low yields and gradual ripening resulted in wines with an appealing lushness, rich texture and gentle minerality. Grenache Blanc was harvested between September 14th and 24th, followed by Picpoul between September 28th and October 11th and Roussanne between September 18th and November 2nd.
The grapes for our Esprit de Beaucastel Blanc were grown on our 120-acre certified organic estate vineyard.
The fruit was whole cluster pressed, and fermented with native yeasts. The Roussanne was fermented in a balance of stainless steel fermenters, 60-gallon oak barrels, and one 1200-gallon foudre. The Grenache Blanc was fermented partially in stainless steel and also in one foudre, and the Picpoul Blanc was fermented in small neutral oak and stainless steel barrels. All the wines went through malolactic fermentation. The lots were selected and blended in April, and bottled in July 2010.
The 2009 Esprit de Beaucastel Blanc shows a rich, lifted nose, very spicy, with aromas of ginger, tangerine, asian pear, beeswax and herbs. The mouth shows classic Roussanne flavors of honey and spice, with a little tropicality lurking behind, and a long, dry finish with toffee and pear notes. We suggest that this wine will benefit from short-term cellaring, and drink well from mid-2011 through the end of the decade.
Updated tasting notes from a July 2011 vertical tasting can be found on the Tablas Creek blog.
You're invited to join us for a weekend-long Wine Festival celebration Friday, May 20th through Sunday, May 22nd. Friday, we're pouring at the RESERVE event from 4:00-6:30 then hosting a winemaker dinner at Bistro Laurent with wines from Beaucastel and Tablas Creek at 7:00. On Saturday at the Paso Robles downtown park we'll be joining the Paso Robles wine community for the Grand Tasting from 12:00 to 4:00. Sunday at the vineyard we'll have "brunch style" bites starting at 10am and live music with Shawn Clark Family Band from 12:00-3pm.
We were proud to learn that Tablas Creek Partner/GM Jason Haas was voted by his peers the 2015 Paso Robles Wine Industry Person of the Year. His father, our founder Robert Haas, wrote this appreciation on our blog.
In Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue 220) 15 Tablas wines topped 90 points, including 2014 Esprit de Tablas (93-96), 2013 Panoplie (94-96), and 2014 Panoplie (95-97). Read the review » More press »
April 27, 2016
Think of each plant that's growing in a given plot of land as like a wick, with its roots delving into the soil for available moisture. If we had overabundant water, we might want to leave some surface weeds to keep levels more reasonable. Instead, in our California climate, eliminating competition from grasses and other surface plants is an essential part of our ability to dry farm. Tilling in the cover crop also allows the insects and microorganisms in the soil to start breaking down the surface biomass accumulated during the winter growth into nutrients that the vines will draw from in the coming months. Finally, the loosening of the soil creates an insulating layer at the surface that helps conserve the water deeper down. Read More »