2009 Tablas Creek Esprit de Beaucastel Rouge

Year: 2009
Appellation: Paso Robles
Country: USA - California
Wine Advocate: 91-94
Vinous Media: 93
Red Wine
Price :
$47.95
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"The 2009 Esprit de Beaucastel, tasted from foudre, is very, very young. The wine literally explodes on the palate with a rush of dark fruit enshrouded within a wall of muscular tannin. The 2009 is a dark inward Esprit that will require patience, but when the wine opens up it will be a jewel. Actually, it already is. In 2009 the blend is 40% Mourvedre, 28% Syrah, 27% Grenache and 5% Counoise. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2024.

Tablas Creek was founded as a partnership between Chateau de Beaucastel in Chateauneuf-du-Pape and Robert Haas, owner of Beaucastel’s US importer, Vineyard Brands. Tablas Creek is one of the pioneers for Rhone varieties in Paso Robles, not just for the quality of the wines, but just as importantly for creating a nursery of clones from Beaucastel cuttings that are now used widely throughout the region. The estate currently has about 105 acres under vine. Tablas Creek works with indigenous yeasts and favors large, neutral oak barrels and casks for aging. Vintage 2009 was the third in a series of drought years for the estate, which along with a severe spring frost reduced yields dramatically to less than 1.85 tons per acre. The wines, though, are striking. Vintage 2010 could not have been more different. There was no spring frost. Instead the estate received a whopping 44 inches of rain. A cold summer led to a late harvest that started during the second half of October and lasted until early November. Readers will find a broad range of compelling bottles across all price ranges. As an aside, Tablas Creek is one of the highest-quality estates in California that has the facilities and capacity to receive visitors." (WA)

"(40% mourvedre, 28% syrah, 27% grenache and 5% counoise): Vivid ruby-red. Sexy, highly perfumed aromas of candied raspberry, potpourri, Asian spices, sandalwood and licorice, with zesty minerality emerging with aeration. Suave, fresh and lithe, showing impressive definition and florality to its seamless red fruit flavors. The spicy, very long finish features gentle tannins and a flavor of red raspberry. A very polished blend." (IWC)

Winery Notes:
The Tablas Creek Vineyard Esprit de Beaucastel 2009 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 bram- bly spice and acidity.

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 harvest largely complete except for about half our Mourvèdre at the time of a major rainstorm on October 13th. Crop sizes were 15% smaller than 2008 and 30% lower than usual. The low yields and grad- ual ripening resulted in wines with an appealing lushness, rich texture and wonderful chalky tannins. 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 stain- less steel fermenters. After pressing, the wines were moved into bar- rel, blended, and aged in 1200-gallon French oak foudres before being bottled in July 2011. The 2009 Esprit de Beaucastel shows a deep, spicy nose with dark fruit, crushed rock, cocoa and licorice. The palate shows blackberry, black raspberry, and currant fruit highlighted by a persistent minerality, lush texture and substantial but fine-grained tannins. The power of the tan- nins and the concentration of the wine suggest that it will benefit from short- to mid-term cellaring, and drink well for two decades or more.