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.
Hundreds of you have joined us for one of our annual blending seminars over the years. If you haven’t yet, let this be the year. Partner Jason Haas and winemaker Neil Collins will lead a barrel tasting of the individual varietals (both reds and whites), and will discuss how we turn roughly one hundred components into the blends and varieties we make each year. Then, you will be set loose with graduated cylinders to produce your own blends. Details & More Events »
From now through the end of April, we will ship any wine order, of any quantiy, to anywhere we ship, for just $10. Cheers! Details & more news »
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 »
April 15, 2015
Ten days ago, I was convinced that we were going to get clobbered by frost in the aftermath of a cold, wet Pacific storm. All the conditions were in place...And yet we made it through. It dropped into the low- to mid-30s eight of the first ten days of April... Read More »