2020 Esprit de Tablas
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The Tablas Creek Vineyard 2020 Esprit de Tablas is our flagship red blend, chosen from the best lots of six estate-grown varieties 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. Two new grapes (the dark, herby Vaccarese and the juicy, spicy Cinsaut) make their first-ever appearance in Esprit and round out the blend.
96 points & #32 wine of 2022; "seamless and intense": Owen Bargreen (Dec. 2022)
96 points; "grippy in texture and generous in flavors": Wine Enthusiast (Nov. 2022)
98 points; "long and lingering ... perfectly balanced ... Our favorite Esprit de Tablas yet": BevX (Sep. 2022)
94 points; "Powerful and broad-shouldered, but silky at the same time": James Suckling (Oct. 2022)
Extraordinary; "Impeccably balanced with a long lasting finish": Underground Wine Letter (Sep. 2022)
93-94 Points; "Velvety tannins build steadily through the finish, which hangs on": Vinous (July 2022)
A pretty nose that speaks clearly of Mourvedre in its elderberry and blackcurrant fruit and its eucalyptus and soy marinade umami notes. On the palate, black cherry and musky mulberry fruit, new leather, and a loamy richness that suggests a lovely meaty note will develop with time. The firm but ripe tannins maintain order and lead to a long, spicy finish. This is an Esprit that will drink well young, but don't let this trick you into thinking it won't have the stuffing to age. Enjoy any time in the next 20-25 years.
- Adelaida District Paso Robles
- 40% Mourvedre
- 30% Grenache
- 21% Syrah
- 5% Counoise
- 3% Vaccarese
- 1% Cinsaut
- 13.5% Alcohol by Volume
- 3480 Cases Produced
Recipes & Pairings
- Dark Fowl (i.e., duck)
- Richly flavored stews
- Asian preparation of red meats (i.e., beef stir fry)
The 2020 vintage began benignly, with a cool spring that delayed budbreak to a little after normal, and continued below-average temperatures through July. Beginning in August, the weather turned hot, accelerating ripening and producing intense flavors. The state's terrible fires stayed well north of us, and the harvest finished early, under a compressed timeline but good conditions. The vintage shows concentrated flavors, noteworthy lushness, and lovely spice.
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 2021 and aged a year in foudre before bottling in July 2022.