Tried these two last week:
1. TablasCreekVnyd Esprit de Beaucastel EG/PasoRobles (14.5%; 40% Mourv/28% Syrah/27% Grenache/5% Counoise) 2009: Dark color w/ slight bricking; strong plummy/Mourv light earthy/dusty/mushroomy light toasty/oak quite aromatic bit Rhonish quite aromatic fairly complex nose; lightly tart strong plummy/Mourv light blackberry/Syrah light toasty/oak some spicy complex flavor w/ light smooth tannins; very long/lingering fairly strong plummy/Mourv bit blackberry light toasty/oak bit complex finish w/ light gentle tannins; has developed very well, probably nearing its peak, and still has ample Mourv fruit.
2. TablasCreekVnyd Esprit de Beaucastel Panoplie (14.5%; 65% Mourv/26% Grenache/9% Syrah) 2009: Slightly lighter color w/ light bricking; lighter less intense some plummy/Mourv slight strawberry/Grenache bit quieter little oak more Rhonish more complex lovely nose; bit tart/tangy quite Mourv/plummy slight strawberry/Grenache very light oak; bit more Rhonish/roasted more depth & structure bit more complex flavor w/ stronger chewey tannins; very long/lingering more complex fairly structured/balanced modest Mourv/plummy smoother complex finish w/ modest smooth tannins;still can use another 3-6 yrs; beautiful Rhonish blend.
A wee BloodyPulpit:
1. This is a comparison tasting I've long wanted to do. Panoplie is the TCV ultra-premium Rhone red blend that is a barrel slctn of their best wines. I've long been impressed by how well the TCV Esprit reds (and blancs) age. But the Panoplie always sells for a premium price point above the regular EdB/EdT, that I've been hesitant to make the investment on the Panoplie. When I taste them young side-by-side, the Panoplie doesn't seem to be worth the premium, since I'm most happy with the regular EdT.
Of these two, I slightly preferred the Panoplie. The regular showed strong Mourv fruit & seemed a bit flashier if a bit more monochromatic in character. The Panapolie was a bit quieter, not as strong Mourv fruit, a bit more complex & subtle & structured & balanced and in need of more age yet. When I served these two the next day at the SFW&CF Ridge virtual tasting (Jason was also doing a SFW&CF virtual tasting at the same time..bad logistics), my people universally preferred the regular EdB.
So....is the Panapolie worth the price premium? Tough choice. TCV offers the Panapolie on a futures basis every year, so that makes it much more attractively priced. So I will probably continue to buy. But TCV often puts the regular EdT on a monthly special pricing and it will probably continue my go-to TCV Red Rhone Blend.
Based on this data point of one. But...hey...I'm a LosAlamos guy. Sometimes we draw far-reaching conclusions based on a data point of zero!!
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Tasting notes, varietals, grapes - anything related to wine
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