The 2010 Esprit de Beaucastel shows Mourvedre's signature currant, balsamic, black tea and roasted meat aromas, given lift by a brighter raspberry note and notable minerality. The mouth is richer than the nose suggests, with plum, blueberry, pepper steak and dark chocoloate notes. Well-mannered tannins keep order without blocking or weighing down the wine. This is an Esprit that will provide pleasure now, but which should also age gracefully for two decades.
In this vintage, the 2010 Esprit de Beaucastel is decidedly huge. An exciting array of dark red fruit, black cherries, incense and tar come together beautifully. At first large-scaled and sweeping in personality, the wine finds more refined registers on the finish, where floral notes add a measure of lift and finesse. Today, the 2010 is a baby, though. The blend is 45% Mourvedre, 30% Grenache, 21% Syrah and 4% Counoise. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2025.
The Perrins of Chateau de Beaucastel and Robert Haas, their importer since 1970, founded Tablas Creek Vineyard in 1990. They chose their 1600-foot elevation site in West Paso Robles' Las Tablas because of its chalky clay soils and its climate similar to the southern Rhone Valley. They imported selected French cuttings of Mourvedre, Grenache, Syrah and Counoise and multiplied, grafted and planted their own vines, which they farm organically. This blended wine, in the image of Chateauneuf-du-Pape, is 100% estate-grown and bottled.