Laffy Taffy

Bricking hard. An electrical fire vegetal Dr. Pepper rises out of the glass, swirling dirty and acerbic in the nose but aligned with a declining slather of flabby fruit, a bit of oxidation and overall: just smooth ripe-fruity blandness intensified with dilly spice and a shot of Luxardo. Late-breathing washes this thing out even more, and I am a bit shocked how meagerly awkward it is at this young age.

My opinions on this wine are well-documented. It just isn’t my favorite wine from Tablas. I know that is heresy and so sue me, but it keeps happening, and here we are… again… with another vintage… which leaves me in the IDENTICAL opinion as every other visit. I’m sorry! I know how hard that is to read for the stalwart Tablas followers and even worse for the winery itself. My favorite wines from Tablas are the single varieties. Hands down any day all day I will take the syrah, the grenache, the mourvedre, the tannat, the counoise–ANYTHING over not only the Esprit, but also (to a much lesser extent) the Patelin and the Gobelet and the new Cotes. I just don’t like their blends.

The first day of Hospice Du Rhone last year, Jason was pouring 6’s 7’s and 8’s of all the single varieties and the Syrah was easily the Wine Of The Room. Next to them, the Rhone blends faded–as they always do for me–into a murky playing field positioned into the odd blandness of *Everything interesting has been blended out of them*–something which happens frequently for me with Esprit, and to a far lesser extent with Patelin and Gobelet.

In the mouth, burnt taffy and spicy vinaigrette with hot buttered toast compliments. Nutty and grainy on entrance, the hot/ripe fruit runs up against rubber-band and hot plastic bag over the middle, picking up burnt spicy overtones down the backside as the forgettable burn etches itself–once again–onto your memory. Fruit–and that word is a bit of a stretch here–is fading at best and wanton wasteoids of wantonness at worst.

I love Tablas Creek, but this wine just flat-out isn’t showing well. If you’ve got Esprit 10’s, I would visit them sooner rather than later.

2010 TABLAS CREEK VINEYARD Esprit de Beaucastel MGSC 43/30/21/4 Paso Robles 14.5

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