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The Tablas Creek Vineyard 2018 Esprit de Tablas is our flagship red blend, chosen from the best lots 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; "energetic on the palate": Wine Enthusiast (Jan. 2021)
96 points; "Stains the palate with lively red/blue fruit, spice-cake and floral pastille flavors that steadily deepen through the midpalate": Vinous (Dec. 2020)
#32 wine of 2020; "complex and magical": Owen Bargreen (Dec. 2020)
96 points; "thrilling range and mouthfeel, with a vibrant degree of tension and rich viscosity": Owen Bargreen (Nov. 2020)
93 points; " soft, silky and juicy with perfumed fruits and a long finish": Wine Advocate (Oct. 2020)
97 points; "Full-bodied and perfectly balanced with a meaty yet silky texture": BevX (Oct. 2020)
93 Points; "mouth-coating ... spice box and loam finishing with licorice, carbon and dried cherries": Purely Domestic Wine Report (Oct. 2020)
94 points; "rich, meaty and spiced with ripe plum": Blue Lifestyle (Oct. 2020)
Extraordinary; "an absolutely great Rhône styled red wine that over time is destined to be a cellar treasure": Underground WineLetter (Oct. 2020)
93-95 points; "There’s a compelling blend of richness and energy here": Vinous (Feb. 2020)
A deep brooding Mourvèdre nose of loamy redcurrant and roasted meats, new leather and black plum. The mouth shows spicy licorice and nutmeg lift over baked plums and Mourvèdre's signature plum skin tannin maintaining balance with the wine's mouth-coating texture. The long, richly tannic finish, with lingering flavors of wood smoke, roasted meat, and crushed rock, promises more rewards to come with cellar aging. We recommend that you drink either between now and 2023 or again starting in 2026 any time over the subsequent two decades.
Watch Chelsea and the Shepherd discuss the wine: 2018 Esprit de Tablas Tasting: a Mourvèdre Blend with Chelsea and the Shepherd.
- Adelaida District Paso Robles
- 40% Mourvedre
- 27% Syrah
- 23% Grenache
- 10% Counoise
- 13.5% Alcohol by Volume
- 4325 Cases Produced
The 2018 vintage saw an almost ideal balance of vine health and stress, as is often the case with the first dry year after a very wet one. Although rainfall was just 70% of normal, the rains came late, delaying the onset of bud-break and the beginning of the growing season. The cool weather continued most of the year, punctuated by a six-week heat wave in July and early August. But temperatures moderated before picking began, and harvest proceeded under slightly cooler than normal conditions, allowing us to pick without stress and producing fruit (and wines) with intense flavors and good balancing acidity.
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's components were fermented separately, then selected for Esprit, blended in June 2019 and aged a year in foudre before bottling in July 2020.