The Tablas Creek Vineyard Esprit de Beaucastel 2002 is a blend of four estate-grown varietals, propagated from budwood cuttings from the Château de Beaucastel estate.
94 points; "an intense, concentrated wine...fabulous drinking for another decade": Antonio Galloni (July 2014)
95 points; "showing fantastically": Wine Advocate (Aug. 2013)
"Ripeness, polish and drive": James Molesworth (May 2010)
"Top 100 Wines of 2005": SF Chronicle (Dec. 2005)
91 points: Stephen Tanzer (July 2005)
4+ stars: Restaurant Wine (Jun. 2005)
"Highly recommended": Saveur (Nov. 2004)
92 points; "a brilliant effort": Wine Spectator (Sep. 2004)
4 stars: Decanter (Sept. 2004)
92+ points; "a beauty": Wine Advocate (Aug. 2004)
92-95 points: Wine Advocate (Aug. 2003)
- 57% Mourvèdre
- 27% Syrah
- 10% Grenache
- 6% Counoise
- 14.4% alcohol by volume
- 2000 cases produced
The 2002 vintage was tremendous: warm and sunny, with cool nights that prolonged the hangtime of the grapes. The warmth and long hangtime led to grapes that were concentrated, rich, and ripe, but with good balance as well as ripeness. Our first lots of Syrah came in on September 10th, followed by Counoise on September 17th, and Grenache and Mourvèdre both on September 24th. The beautiful fall weather allowed us to bring in fruit when it was at peak ripeness, and allow other blocks to continue to mature. The harvest continued through October, with the last lot of Mourvèdre safely in the cellar on October 28th.
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 April, 2004. The wines are unfined and unfiltered.
We lost one of the five foudres containing the preliminary blend of the 2002 Esprit de Beaucastel in our December 2003 earthquake, reducing our production by 500 cases.
The 2002 Esprit de Beaucastel is a powerful expression of the excellent 2002 vintage, featuring a ripe, spicy nose of raspberries and blueberries backed by aromas of smoke and saddle leather, an elegant palate of red fruits laced with nutmeg and pepper and a long beautiful finish.