Tablas Creek Esprit de Tablas Blanc (750ml)
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Tablas Creek is the realization of the combined efforts of two of the international wine community’s leading families: the Perrin family, proprietors of Château de Beaucastel in Chateauneuf du Pape, and the Haas family, Californian wine importers of Vineyard Brands. Equally owned and run by the two families, the partnership begun in 1987 remains today as ever, even as the next generation of Haases and Perrins have stepped into leadership roles over recent decades.
The estate is 120 acres located 12 miles from the Pacific Ocean in what is now the Adelaida District of Paso Robles; the climate is Mediterranean and enjoys similar pH soils of Château de Beaucastel. They named it Tablas Creek Vineyard, after the small creek running through the property. To ensure that the vines at Tablas Creek were of the highest quality and same genetic source of those at Beaucastel, the partners imported vinifera from the French estate. Planting at the estate began in 1994, with 115 acres under vine as of 2020. They practice organic and biodynamic viticulture.
A lovely, creamy nose of wildflower honey, sweet baking spices, citrus pith, and briny minerality. The mouth is textured and dry, with both the richness and essence of egg custard, flavors of quince and pear, and a long finish with echoing honey, fresh vanilla bean, and limestone mineral notes. A powerful, textured Esprit Blanc that is drinking well now but which we expect will really shine with time in the cellar. Drink over the next two decades.
The Tablas Creek Vineyard Esprit de Tablas Blanc is the flagship white blend of Roussanne, Grenache Blanc, Picpoul Blanc and Picardan made from bud wood cuttings from Chateau Beaucastel. The grapes were grown on the certified organic and biodynamic estate vineyard. Roussanne (63%, fermented in a mix of oak of various sizes and ages) still takes pride of place, but the different higher-acid, more mineral varieties (20% Grenache Blanc, 14% Picpoul Blanc, and 3% Picardan) all add citrusy acidity and saline freshness. The blend goes into foudre after it is assmebled in April and aged it through the subsequent harvest before bottling it in December and letting it rest an additional 9 months in bottle before release.
What a nose on this wine! Pie crust, honeysuckle, caramel, toffee, butter-tarts; this wine benefits from the winemaking expertise of the famed Château de Beaucastel in Châteauneuf-du-Pape combined with the benefits of organic and biodynamic fruit and a Californian climate. This joining of forces has resulted in a truly remarkable, intensely rich white blend that could stand up to the strongest of flavours and will wow wine geeks and newbies alike. At the risk of sounding corny, I have a feeling that the nectar of the gods tastes something like this.