It was a tough call for wine of the week for March 24-30. Why? I went to a big Rhone Rangers tasting on March 25th and tasted dozens of wines! But at the end of the day (several days thereafter actually), I kept reminiscing about the 2009 Tablas Creek Esprit de Beaucastel.
When I think a about a great wine, it brings to mind my experience of watching a movie with a great plot. For days thereafter, I find myself thinking about the nuances of the plot, perhaps replaying crucial scenes in my mind. And often, upon further reflection, I find myself having a deeper appreciation for the movie. It's the same thing with a great wine for me. I find myself reminiscing about the wine, sometimes for days afterward, and it brings me a bit of joy. That was certainly the case with this wine.
Tablas Creek Vineyard ("TCV") is a partnership between the Haas family, and the Perrin family of Chateau de Beaucastel of France. The partners imported vines from the Perrin's famed estate in Rhône to the Paso Robles where the vines were propagated and grafted in Tablas Creek's nursery (for a complete history click here)
I must confess though that I'm a sucker for Rhône blends. But what really struck me about this wine were two things, the remarkable balance it possesses, and the smooth creamy mouthfeel. I'm definitely a believer in the synergies of blending. This bottling, which is TCV's signature red Rhone blend, is based on Mourvèdre, but also has Syrah, Grenache, and Counoise in the blend. What does each of the components add to the blend? According to Tablas Creek...
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.
My tasting notes follow:
Intense dark red fruit, violet and spice aromas. Medium-full bodied, and well-balanced with vibrant dark red cherry, spice, and mineral flavors. Blend of Mourvèdre (40%), Syrah(28%),Grenache (27%), and Counoise (5%) (92 pts.)
I've got a bottle of the 2009 Esprit de Beaucastel that I've been trying to hold on to for a bit...wish me luck. Or better yet...willpower...I'm going to need it!