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The Tablas Creek Vineyard Esprit de Beaucastel 2005 is a blend of four estate-grown varietals, propagated from budwood cuttings from the Château de Beaucastel estate.
94 points; "charming, balanced and complex": Wine Advocate (May 2016)
95 points; "a real head-turner": Antonio Galloni (July 2014)
95 points; "drop-dead gorgeous": Wine Advocate (Aug. 2013)
"Dark and winey, laced with mesquite and iron": James Molesworth (May 2010)
94 points: The Rhone Report (Nov. 2009)
92 points: Wine Advocate (Jun. 2008)
92 points: Int’l Wine Review (June 2008)
9-9.5/10: Vinography.com (Jan. 2008)
"Astounding presence and brightness": S.F. Chronicle (Dec. 2007)
"Without question a 10-year wine": Gang of Pour (Dec. 2007)
93 points: Tanzer’s IWC (Nov. 2007)
92-94 points: Wine Advocate (Aug. 2007)
- 44% Mourvèdre
- 26% Grenache
- 25% Syrah
- 5% Counoise
- 14.5% alcohol by volume
- 3250 cases produced
The 2005 vintage was one of nature’s lucky breaks, with excellent quality and higher-than-normal yields. The wet winter of ’04-’05 gave the grapevines ample groundwater, and a warm period in March got the vines off to an early May flowering. The summer was uniformly sunny but relatively cool, and harvest began (relatively late for us) in the 3rd week of September. The grapes spent nearly a month longer than normal on the vine, and the resulting wines were intensely mineral, with good structure and powerful aromatics. Our first lots of Syrah came in on September 29th, followed by Grenache on October 5th, Mourvèdre on October 11th, and (unusually for us, our last varietal harvested) Counoise on October 28th.
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 2007. The blend of the 2005 vintage contains an unusually large amount of Grenache, which was so compelling that we made room for it by reducing each other component slightly. The wine is unfined and unfiltered.
The 2005 Esprit de Beaucastel is dark black-red in color, with a rich briary nose of black cherry, plum and rare steak, overlaid with sweet spices and mocha. The elegant, layered palate shows explosive fruit, with smoky and meaty flavors. Ripe tannins provide structure. The long finish reveals mineral and black cherry notes. The wine is showing remarkably well now, but should evolve elegantly in bottle for 10-15 years or longer.