Looking at the Mourvedre-dominated special cuvee, the 2007 Esprit de Beaucastel Panoplie is off the charts and up with some of the greatest wines I’ve tasted from Paso Robles. Massive in every way, yet never heavy or ever putting a foot wrong, it delivers thrilling red and black currants, leather, licorice, garrigue and roasted meat aromas and flavors that flow seamlessly to a full-bodied, mouth-filling red that has incredible richness and depth, sweet tannin and good acidity. A thrill ride of a wine and a joy to drink, it should continue to blow minds for another decade or more. Drink now-2023. (JD)
Saturated ruby. Intensely perfumed nose suggests strawberry and raspberry preserves, rose, incense and minerals. Sappy, sweet and penetrating, offering pure red fruit flavors and a tangy note of singed orange. The polar opposite of the "basic" Esprit, emphasizing strong mineral-laden character and graceful floral qualities. As mouthfilling and powerful as this wine is, it also displays a delicacy and precision that I would never expect from this region. I'd have no hesitation serving this alongside some of the big guns of the 2007 vintage from the southern Rhone.
Licorice, game, incense, smoke and tobacco meld into dark blue and black fruit in the 2007 Panoplie. A surprisingly delicate, mid-weight wine for the year, the Panoplie impresses for its balance. With time in the glass, the wine's structure becomes more apparent. Hints of dried rose petal, lavender and spices add the final layers of complexity. (AG)
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2013 Solomon Hills "Solomon Hills Vineyard" Santa Maria Valley Chardonnay (Previously $40)