The Tablas Creek Vineyard Esprit de Beaucastel 2000 is a blend of four estate-grown varietals, propagated from budwood cuttings from the Château de Beaucastel estate.
"Minerally, sanguine notes": James Molesworth (May 2010)
91 points; "bold but still balanced": Wine Anorak (July 2004)
90 points: Stephen Tanzer (Feb. 2004)
91 points; "superb": Wine Enthusiast (Dec. 2003)
92 points: "tremendous intensity as well as richness": Wine Advocate (Aug. 2003)
90 points: Wine&Spirits (Aug. 2003)
"Unequivocally Rhone-like": Saveur (Aug. 2003)
93 points: Wine Advocate (Feb. 2002)
- 35% Mourvèdre
- 26% Syrah
- 25% Grenache
- 14% Counoise
- 14.6% alcohol by volume
- 4237 cases produced
The 2000 vintage was beautifully balanced at the vineyard: warm sunny days persisted through the ripening season, without the intense baking heat that can dampen the varietals’ aromatics. Consistent warmth shortened the harvest, which began on September 18th with the Syrah, and finished with the last lots of Counoise and Mourvèdre on October 19th.
Native yeast fermentation was conducted in open and closed stainless steel fermenters and small oak “pieces”. After pressing, the wines were racked and blended, and aged for a year in 1200-gallon French oak foudres before being bottled in April, 2002. The wines are unfined and unfiltered.
The 2000 Esprit de Beaucastel is a richly intense wine, with aromatics of roasted meats, licorice and currants, and flavors of ripe cherries, blackberries, leather, earth and spice, held together in a velvety tannic structure.