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The Tablas Creek Vineyard Esprit de Beaucastel Blanc 2006 is a blend of three estate-grown varietals, propagated from budwood cuttings from the Château de Beaucastel estate.
"Still seems to be on the way up": Gang of Pour (Jan. 2013)
"100 best wines of 2008": Wine & Spirits (Winter 2008)
92 points; "remarkable, high and refined": Patrick Comiskey, Wine Review Online (Sep. 2008)
91 points; "lovely": Wine Advocate (Jun. 2008)
94 points; "a superb wine": Int'l Wine Review (June 2008)
93 points; "one of the most complex Rhone-varietal blends produced in California": Wine&Spirits (June 2008)
"Lovely acidity, length, and balance": S.F. Chronicle (Mar. 2008)
9/10: Vinography.com (Jan. 2008)
92 points: Tanzer's IWC (Nov. 2007)
92-95 points: Wine Advocate (Aug. 2007)
- 65% Roussanne
- 30% Grenache Blanc
- 5% Picpoul Blanc
- 13.5% alcohol by volume
- 1800 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 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. Viognier began the harvest starting September 15th, followed by Roussanne and Grenache Blanc beginning September 27th, and Marsanne starting October 4th.
The grapes for our Esprit de Beaucastel Blanc were grown on our 120-acre certified organic estate vineyard.
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 May, after which the wines were racked, blended, cold stabilized, and bottled in July 2007.
The 2006 Esprit de Beaucastel Blanc is a vibrant expression of the terroir of Tablas Creek. It shows aromas of honeysuckle, mint, lemon peel and spice, with rich Roussanne flavors of honey, rose petals and pear, a distinctive saline minerality from the limestone soils, balanced acidity and great length. It should drink well when young but will also reward time in bottle; we expect it to show beautifully for at least the next 8-10 years.