Tasting Note                         

92   2005 Tablas Creek  Esprit de Beaucastel Blanc  8/1/08 ($32)

70% Rousanne, 25% Grenache Blanc, 5% Picpoul Blanc   14.5% alc                                                                 (winery is a Perrin/Haas joint venture)
Color: Medium gold. (3.0) Bouquet: Honeyed pineapple, spiced pear and flowers, but dry with spice (bayleaf) and white pepper with oak complementing. Interesting and elegant with distinction. A touch of alcohol (3.5) Body: Light heavyweight with excellent fruit and acidity. Has a rich, mouthcoating texture with spice. Great substance. (3.5) Flavor: Parallels bouquet step-for-step, just not as open. (3.0) Finish: Again, parallels bouquet, but shows its elegance even more with a long finish that is not heavy with white grape juice and spice lingering. (3.0)
This is a tour de force white that is a dead ringer for a top-notch white Rhone. It's concentrated, fruity and structured, with class. Reach for this when a dish suggests white, but has the richness for red, instead of Chardonnay or Pinot Noir. Age for 2-5 years or decant for an hour or so if drinking now. Don't serve too cold, say about cellar temperature. (16.0)