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.
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.
Since 2007, we have made our En Gobelet exclusively from dry-farmed, head-trained vineyard blocks. The results have been so compelling that we're planning to plant our entire new parcel -- all 55 acres -- in this style over the coming decade. Join us for this vertical tasting of every vintage of En Gobelet, from the 2007 to the newly-blended 2014. We'll also offer, before the tasting, an optional hike led by Viticulturist Levi Glenn through the rugged Scruffy Hill block from which we source most of the wine, and finish with a picnic lunch on our patio. $60 for wine club members and $75 for guests. Reservations are essential; we expect this to sell out. To reserve, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 805.237.1231 ext 30. Details & More Events »
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 »
In August, Antonio Galloni published the results of his annual visit to Tablas Creek, and we were excited to receive such good reviews from this notoriously tough grader. Notes included the 2012 Esprit de Tablas Blanc (92 points; “impeccably refined”), 2011 Panoplie (94 points; "pure elegance"), 2012 Patelin de Tablas (90 points; “a gorgeous wine and a fabulous value”), and the 2012 Esprit de Tablas (93-95 points; "a fascinating Esprit to follow over the coming years"). Read the complete review » More recent press »
May 26, 2015
I was struck by a quote from Tegan Passalaqua, the winemaker at Turley, in a recent article on JancisRobinson.com. In an interview with Alder Yarrow, Tegan said "In a Mediterranean climate like we have, vertical shoot positioning and 3 by 6 vineyard spacing is basically farming hydroponically".
Hydroponic farming, with its overtones of bland supermarket tomatoes, seems an unlikely candidate to provide the intensity and ripeness that a winemaker would expect from California. But in its essence, that the farmer is providing everything that a plant needs to bear fruit, I don't think he's far off. It's worth taking a few moments to understand how grapevines came to be so widely irrigated in California. Read More »