2018 Esprit de Tablas Blanc
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The Tablas Creek Vineyard 2018 Esprit de Tablas Blanc is our flagship white blend, chosen from the top lots of five estate-grown varietals propagated from budwood cuttings from the Château de Beaucastel estate. Roussanne provides the core richness, minerality, and flavors of honey and spice, while Grenache Blanc adds green apple and anise flavors, a lush mouthfeel and bright acids. Picpoul Blanc adds pineapple brightness and saline minerality. Picardan brings elegance while Clairette Blanche is crisp and gently citrusy.
94 points; "Powerful yet graceful in style, displaying sharp focus and minerally lift": Vinous (Dec. 2020)
95 points; "rich and viscous, with a great veil of salinity and tension": Owen Bargreen (Nov. 2020)
93 points & "Top 100 Wine of 2020"; "grand, the weight of roussanne comfortable and powerful, with a lemony, crisp apple contour": Wine&Spirits (Winter 2020)
94 points; "very intense ... this may be the most age-worthy Esprit Blanc that I have tasted": BevX (Oct. 2020)
94 points; "lush and deep with fine acid structure": Blue Lifestyle (Oct. 2020)
Extraordinary; "intensity and depth and a long lingering finish": Underground WineLetter (Oct. 2020)
94-95 points; "superb depth and energy, offering juicy orange, pear nectar, sweet butter and chamomile flavors": Vinous (Feb. 2020)
A lifted nose of orange blossom, honeycomb, and spicy pine nut. On the palate, the signature clean, precise elegance of the 2018 vintage, with flavors of baked custard, marmalade, and saline minerality, deepened by a little sweet oak. Then lively and juicy on the finish like biting into a fresh pear, complete with the little hint of pear skin tannin. A balanced, elegant Esprit Blanc that we expect to go out two decades, gaining additional nuttiness and complexity with time in bottle.
Watch Chelsea and the Shepherd discuss the wine: Tasting 2018 Esprit de Tablas Blanc with Chelsea and the Shepherd
- Adelaida District Paso Robles
- 66% Roussanne
- 21% Grenache Blanc
- 8% Picpoul Blanc
- 3% Picardan
- 2% Clairette Blanche
- 13.0% Alcohol by Volume
- 2315 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 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 Blanc were grown on our certified organic and biodynamic estate vineyard.
For the second year in a row we incorporated two of our newest white grapes into the Esprit Blanc blend. Of course, Roussanne (66%, fermented in a mix of oak of various sizes and ages) still takes pride of place, but the different higher-acid, more mineral varieties (21% Grenache Blanc, 8% Picpoul Blanc, 3% Picardan and 2% Clairette Blanche) all add citrusy acidity and saline freshness. As we have done since 2012, we returned the blend to foudre after it was assembled in April 2019 and aged it through the subsequent harvest before bottling it in December 2019 and letting it rest an additional 9 months in bottle before release.