2016 Esprit de Tablas
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The Tablas Creek Vineyard 2016 Esprit de Tablas 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.
94 Points; "seamless and energetic on the palate, showing impressive depth as well as energy and sharp delineation": Vinous (Feb. 2020)
"Top 100 Wine of 2019": Wine&Spirits (Oct. 2019)
92 Points; "polished and silky mid-palate..." purely domestic wine report (Jan. 2020)
92 Points; "light to medium-bodied with intense, earthy fruits, a firm frame and good juiciness on the long, spiced finish.": Wine Advocate (Oct. 2019)
94 Points; "Full-bodied with a tangy core of berry fruit, firm and structured tannins and a spicy finish": James Suckling (May 2019)
94 points; "substantial but lifted: 'It's airy in a positive sense'": Wine & Spirits (Feb. 2019)
94 points; "Combines structure with polish and substance": Wine Spectator (Jan. 2019)
93 points; "seamless texture, and beautiful purity of fruit": Jeb Dunnuck (Nov. 2018)
98 points; "We have loved every release of the great Esprit de Tablas but this may be our favorite": BevX (Oct. 2018)
Outstanding Plus/Extraordinary; "An absolute classic that will be a cellar treasure over the coming decades": Underground Wine Letter (Oct. 2018)
94-95 points; "Closes on a recurring floral note, showing impressive persistence and suave, even tannins": Vinous (Sep. 2018)
92-94 points; "full-bodied and savory, with finegrained tannins, good balance and nice depth and dimension": Wine Advocate (May 2018)
93-95 points; "Alluringly sweet and concentrated, displaying excellent focus and energy": Vinous (Nov. 2017)
A deep nose, marked equally by Mourvedre and Syrah: mocha and currant reduction, chalky minerality and spicy eucalyptus. The mouth is dense yet not heavy, with flavors of sugarplum and rare steak, a reverberating red/black licorice note, and tremendous texture. The long finish, with lingering flavors of wood smoke, roasted meat, plum skin and crushed rock, hints at more rewards to come with cellar aging. We recommend that you drink either 2018-2023 or again starting in 2026 any time over the subsequent two decades.
Updated tasting notes from a May 2019 vertical tasting can be found on the Tablas Creek blog.
- Adelaida District Paso Robles
- 46% Mourvedre
- 31% Syrah
- 18% Grenache
- 5% Counoise
- 14.5% Alcohol by Volume
- 2850 Cases Produced
Recipes & Pairings
- Dark Fowl (i.e., duck)
- Richly flavored stews
- Asian preparation of red meats (i.e., beef stir fry)
The 2016 vintage, while still marked by drought, saw better rainfall than the four previous years, and the vineyards showed good health through most of the growing season. That season started with a very early budbreak and continued warm weather spurred our earliest-ever beginning to harvest, on August 18th. But beginning mid-August, three cool weeks slowed the ripening for all but our earliest grapes, and allowed them to reach flavor and phenolic maturity with slightly above-average hang time. The resulting vintage shows excellent concentration but also remarkable vibrancy, with electric acids framing appealing juiciness.
The grapes for our Esprit de Tablas were grown on our certified organic and biodynamic estate vineyard.
The grapes were fermented using native yeasts in a mix of 1500-gallon wooden upright fermenters, open-top tanks and closed stainless steel fermenters. After pressing, the wines were moved into barrel and allowed to complete malolactic fermentation. The Esprit was selected from the vintage's best lots and blended in May 2017, then aged in 1200-gallon French oak foudres for another year before being bottled in July 2018.