2006 Esprit de Beaucastel

2006 Esprit de Beaucastel Named Wine Spectator’s #50 Wine of 2009

We are thrilled that the 2006 Esprit de Beaucastel made an appearance at #50 on the Wine Spectator’s Top 100 Wines of 2009. We feel it is a gorgeously pure expression of our terroir, and one of our best Esprits yet.

As always, members of the VINsider wine club received early access to this wine in the fall 2008 club shipment. The wine was also available to VINsiders en primeur in the fall of 2007

Production Notes

The Tablas Creek Vineyard Esprit de Beaucastel 2006 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 Mourvèdre, 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 2006 vintage was a study of contrasts, with a cold, wet start, a very hot early summer, a cool late summer and a warm, beautiful fall. Ample rainfall in late winter gave the grapevines ample groundwater, and produced relatively generous crop sizes. The relatively cool late-season temperatures resulted in a delayed but unhurried harvest, wines with lower than normal alcohols, strong varietal character, and good acids. Syrah began our red harvest starting September 26th, followed by Grenache on October 4th, and Counoise October 24th. Mourvèdre was harvested throughout late October and completed the vintage on November 9th.

The grapes for our Esprit de Beaucastel were grown on our 120-acre certified organic estate vineyard.

The grapes were fermented using native yeasts in open and closed stainless steel fermenters. After pressing, the wines were moved into barrel, blended, and aged in 1200-gallon French oak foudres before being bottled in May 2008. The wine is unfined and unfiltered.

The 2006 Esprit de Beaucastel is delicious and unusually approachable right now, with a complex nose of red plum, ripe cherry, fresh figs and candied orange peel, a velvety, layered palate with spicy plum and cherry fruit, pepper and nutmeg spices, and excellent breadth. The finish shows more mineral, plum, and spice, and a little gentle oak from the foudre aging. It is delicious now, if very young, and should evolve elegantly in bottle for 10-15 years or longer.

Updated tasting notes from a December 2014 vertical tasting can be found on the Tablas Creek blog.


[...more recent Tablas Creek press]

Recipe Suggestions

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Food Pairings

  • Game
  • Dark Fowl (i.e., duck)
  • Richly flavored stews
  • Lamb
  • Asian preparation of red meats (i.e., beef stir fry)
Esprit de Beaucastel

Not Available for Purchase



  • 45% Mourvèdre
  • 28% Grenache
  • 22% Syrah
  • 5% Counoise

Technical Notes

  • 14.5% alcohol by volume
  • 3500 cases produced



Paso Robles Harvest Wine Weekend

Join us for Paso Robles' annual harvest celebration the weekend of October 16th-18th
All weekend: Visit our tasting room for a first look at our newest Esprit de Tablas wines from the 2013 vintage.
Friday night: Enjoy a four-course, four-wine dinner at McPhee's Grill in Templeton. $105/per person; reservations are essential. Details »
Saturday: Our winemakers will be leading interactive harvest cellar tours 10:30, 12:00, 2:00, 3:30 (20 guest limit). Free to all; no reservations needed. Details »

Tablas Creek News

Tablas Creek in The New York Times and Washington Post in August

We are pleased to have been included in recent articles in The New York Times (on creative responses to California's drought) and the Washington Post (on our 11 new AVA's) and to see the attention for Paso Robles. More recent press »

MA Shipping Permit Received!

We are thrilled to announce that we've received our shipping permit from the great state of Massachusetts. Residents of the Bay State can now order wine or become VINsider Wine Club members.  More shipping news »

On the Tablas Blog

We wind toward the close of a high quality but painfully low-yielding 2015 harvest

October 6, 2015
I snuck out yesterday morning to get some photos of the ever-diminishing portions of the vineyard that still have grapes on them. One block that I particularly wanted to see was Syrah, given that it was scheduled to be picked in the afternoon. It was looking suitably autumnal: Read More »