The Tablas Creek Vineyard Esprit de Beaucastel 2005 is a blend of four estate-grown varietals, propagated from budwood cuttings from the Château de Beaucastel estate.
The 2005 vintage was one of nature’s lucky breaks, with excellent quality and higher-than-normal yields. The wet winter of ’04-’05 gave the grapevines ample groundwater, and a warm period in March got the vines off to an early May flowering. The summer was uniformly sunny but relatively cool, and harvest began (relatively late for us) in the 3rd week of September. The grapes spent nearly a month longer than normal on the vine, and the resulting wines were intensely mineral, with good structure and powerful aromatics. Our first lots of Syrah came in on September 29th, followed by Grenache on October 5th, Mourvèdre on October 11th, and (unusually for us, our last varietal harvested) Counoise on October 28th.
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 2007. The blend of the 2005 vintage contains an unusually large amount of Grenache, which was so compelling that we made room for it by reducing each other component slightly. The wine is unfined and unfiltered.
The 2005 Esprit de Beaucastel is dark black-red in color, with a rich briary nose of black cherry, plum and rare steak, overlaid with sweet spices and mocha. The elegant, layered palate shows explosive fruit, with smoky and meaty flavors. Ripe tannins provide structure. The long finish reveals mineral and black cherry notes. The wine is showing remarkably well now, but should evolve elegantly in bottle for 10-15 years or longer.
Updated tasting notes from a June 2012 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 »