The Tablas Creek Vineyard Esprit de Beaucastel 2003 is a blend of four estate-grown varietals, propagated from budwood cuttings from the Château de Beaucastel estate.
- 50% Mourvèdre
- 27% Syrah
- 16% Grenache
- 7% Counoise
- 14.8% alcohol by volume
- 3400 cases produced
The 2003 vintage was tremendous: warm and sunny, with cool nights that prolonged the hangtime of the grapes and led to wines with excellent acidity. A relatively early flowering, combined with a warm but not overly hot summer produced unusually long hangtime, and grapes with concentrated flavors and a distinct minerality. Our first lots of Syrah came in on September 18th, followed by Grenache on September 25th, and Counoise and Mourvèdre both on October 8th. 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 29th.
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 2005. The wine is unfined and unfiltered.
The 2003 Esprit de Beaucastel is dark black-red in color, with a rich briary nose of blackberry and rare steak. The elegant, layered palate shows spicy plum and cherry fruit, smoky flavors and ripe tannins. The long finish shows flavors of mineral and black cherry. The wine is showing remarkably well now, but should evolve elegantly in bottle for 10-15 years or longer.