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.
Join us for the Paso Robles Wine Community's biggest celebration! We'll pour Esprit de Beaucastel at Friday's Reserve Event and a range of new releases at Saturday's Grand Tasting. And all weekend we'll have special wines open at the winery and will be taking tours to visit our herd of sheep, alpacas and donkeys. Sunday 11am to 1:30pm enjoy Chef Jacob Lovejoy's small plates, free with a tasting. Details & more events »
In May, we're featuring our 2011 Cotes de Tablas Blanc at a 10% discount. In 2011, our Viognier crop was cut by 80% due to spring frost, leaving a tiny, intense yield of less than one-half a ton per acre. The resulting wine is rich and tropical, with stone fruits and honey, but at the same time firmly dry, with a very long, saline & mineral finish. Details »
May 15, 2013
Take a look at the seven-line entry of Frank Schoonmaker, America’s foremost wine expert and author in 1964, about terroir. His association, rather than the "somewhereness" the wine exhibits, is more of a taste of dirt, neither elegant nor elevated: "somewhat unpleasant, common, persistent”. My, how things have changed. More »