Tablas Creek Esprit de Tablas Blanc 2013
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The Tablas Creek Vineyard Esprit de Tablas Blanc is a blend of three estate-grown varietals, propagated from budwood cuttings from the Château de Beaucastel estate. Roussanne provides the core richness, minerality, and flavors of honey and spice, while Grenache Blanc adds green apple and anise flavors, a lush mouthfeel and bright acids. Picpoul Blanc completes the blend, adding a saline minerality and tropical notes.
In 1989, importer Robert Haas, Jean-Pierre Perrin and François Perrin of Rhône Valley anfame, established Tablas Creek Vineyard west of Paso Robles, on California's Central Coast. Named after the small creek running through the property, the 120-acre site twelve miles from the Pacific Ocean shares many of the same characteristics as the Perrins' Rhône estate. The shallow, rocky limestone soils are of the same geologic origin as those at Beaucastel, and the Mediterranean climate of hot summer days and cold nights is ideal for Rhone-style grapes. The influence of the nearby Pacific cools the nights and lengthens the growing season, while the site's 1500-foot elevation keeps the vineyard above the coastal fog.
Wine EnthusiastThis blend of 71% Roussanne, 21% Grenache Blanc and 8% Picpoul Blanc offers cut Meyer lemon, tangerine and pink-grapefruit aromas on the nose, along with the promise of a creamy palate. Instead, the palate is quite tight and restrained, starting tart but opening toward lemon rinds and pear flesh, and wiping up clean on the finish.
Wine AdvocateProbably the leanest example of this cuvee I've tasted, the 2013 Esprit de Tablas Blanc checks in as 71% Roussanne, 21% Grenache Blanc and 8% Picpoul that saw 10 months in mostly neutral foudre. It offers pretty, salty minerality in its leafy herbs, citrus and stone fruits to go with a medium-bodied, juicy, straightforward (by this cuvee's standards anyway) personality. This cuvee has a long track record of aging gracefully, but I'd lean toward drinking this over the coming 4-5 years.
Wine SpectatorToasty melon, pear and almond notes are spicy and complex, with citrus zest and chamomile details on the finish. Moderate acidity. Roussanne, Grenache Blanc and Picpoul Blanc. Drink now. 2,200 cases made.