The Tablas Creek Vineyard Esprit de Beaucastel Blanc 2003 is a blend of three estate-grown varietals, propagated from budwood cuttings from the Château de Beaucastel estate.
94 points; "remarkable freshness and purity": The Rhone Report (Jun. 2012)
"#11 Wine of 2005": Wine Enthusiast (Dec. 2005)
91 points; "Soars from the glass": Wine Advocate (June 2005)
5 stars: Restaurant Wine (Jun. 2005)
95 points; "Enormous complexity and charm": Wine Enthusiast (Jan. 2005)
90+ points: Stephen Tanzer (Jan. 2005)
90-92+ points: Wine Advocate (Aug. 2004)
- 68% Roussanne
- 27% Grenache Blanc
- 5% Viognier
- 14.5% alcohol by volume
- 1350 cases produced
Recipes & Pairings
- Cooked shellfish (lobster, softshell crab, shrimp)
- Roasted or grilled vegetables (eggplant, asparagus, peppers)
- Foods cooked with garlic and olive oil
- Rich fish dishes (i.e., salmon, swordfish)
- Asian stir fry
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. The extended harvest meant that we harvested varietals multiple times: Grenache Blanc between September 16th and October 22nd, Viognier between September 18th and October 6th, and Roussanne (usually the latest-ripening white varietal) between September 24th and October 25th.
The fruit was whole cluster pressed, and fermented with native yeasts. The Roussanne was fermented half in stainless steel fermenters and half in small oak “pieces”, while the other varietals were fermented 100% in stainless steel. All the wines went through malolactic fermentation. The varietals were blended in late April, after which the wines were racked, blended, cold stabilized, and bottled in June 2004.
The 2003 Esprit de Beaucastel Blanc is a tremendous expression of the outstanding 2003 vintage. Rich aromas of honeysuckle, lemon drop, meringue and spice are followed by intense flavors of honey, caramel apple and lemon, and a long mineral finish. Best served slightly chilled, but not ice cold.
Updated tasting notes from a July 2011 vertical tasting can be found on the Tablas Creek blog.