From a warm vintage, the 2003 Esprit de Beaucastel has fantastic, complex aromas and flavors, beautiful richness and a deep, layered mid-palate. Proprietor Jason Haas compares this to the 2012 and, certainly, its voluptuous texture and richness are similar. It’s drinking brilliantly and I would consume bottles over the coming handful of years, although it will last longer. Drink now-2018. (JD)
Medium-deep red. Perfumed aromas of black cherry liqueur, forest floor scents and meat. Impressively silky and suave on entry, then sweet and supple in the middle, with no sense of excess weight. Compared to the 2002, this is a more fruit-driven blend, offering notes of black cherry, raspberry, iron, licorice and spices. Long, mounting finish features smooth tannins. At 14.8% this is high in alcohol for a wine from Tablas Creek yet quite moderate for a Rhone blend from this neighborhood.
Tablas has an increasing roster of red wines, but this flagship remains their best. It’s rich, balanced, soft, complex and satisfying, a fine California-Châteauneuf. A blend of Mourvèdre, Syrah, Grenache and Counoise, it shows cherry and chocolate flavors, with a delicate veneer of oak.
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