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The Tablas Creek Vineyard Esprit de Beaucastel 2006 is a blend of four estate-grown varietals, propagated from budwood cuttings from the Château de Beaucastel estate. The wine is based on the dark red fruit, earth, spice and mid-palate richness of Mourvèdre, with additions of Grenache for forward fruit, approachability and lushness, Syrah for mineral, aromatics, and back-palate tannins, and Counoise for brambly spice and acidity.
2006 Esprit de Beaucastel Named Wine Spectator’s #50 Wine of 2009
We are thrilled that the 2006 Esprit de Beaucastel made an appearance at #50 on the Wine Spectator’s Top 100 Wines of 2009. We feel it is a gorgeously pure expression of our terroir, and one of our best Esprits yet.
94 points; "firing on all cylinders": The Rhone Report (Dec. 2010)
"Very juicy and pure": James Molesworth (May 2010)
#50 Wine of 2009: Wine Spectator (Dec. 2009)
92 points; "balanced, rich": The Rhone Report (Nov. 2009)
92 points; "brilliant": Wine Advocate (Aug. 2009)
93 points; "intense yet elegant": Wine Spectator (Mar. 2009)
93 points; "smooth and silky": Tanzer's IWC (Nov. 2008)
91-93 points: Wine Advocate (Jun. 2008)
- 45% Mourvèdre
- 28% Grenache
- 22% Syrah
- 5% Counoise
- 14.5% alcohol by volume
- 3500 cases produced
The 2006 vintage was a study of contrasts, with a cold, wet start, a very hot early summer, a cool late summer and a warm, beautiful fall. Ample rainfall in late winter gave the grapevines ample groundwater, and produced relatively generous crop sizes. The relatively cool late-season temperatures resulted in a delayed but unhurried harvest, wines with lower than normal alcohols, strong varietal character, and good acids. Syrah began our red harvest starting September 26th, followed by Grenache on October 4th, and Counoise October 24th. Mourvèdre was harvested throughout late October and completed the vintage on November 9th.
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 2008. The wine is unfined and unfiltered.
The 2006 Esprit de Beaucastel is delicious and unusually approachable right now, with a complex nose of red plum, ripe cherry, fresh figs and candied orange peel, a velvety, layered palate with spicy plum and cherry fruit, pepper and nutmeg spices, and excellent breadth. The finish shows more mineral, plum, and spice, and a little gentle oak from the foudre aging. It is delicious now, if very young, and should evolve elegantly in bottle for 10-15 years or longer.