2004 Tablas Creek Esprit de Beaucastel Panoplie, 69% Mourvèdre, 21% Grenache, 10% Syrah, $95, 14.6% alc.:
This dark garnet colored blend gives up big, rich dark plum and berry on the nose, along with accents of well integrated oak, noticeably more than with the other reds; Bennett Traub added an impression of “apricot pit on the nose, really interesting, kind of like Copain’s Zinfandel.” Bigger and richer in the mouth than either the '04 Tablas Creek Mourvèdre or Syrah, being sweet, but not too sweet, it delivers complex flavors of leathery dark plum, blackberry, dusty cocoa, coffee, toast and a little dark chocolate. Even without the benefit of decanting, this is remarkably approachable right from the get-go, showing the same smooth texture and lovely balance that is the hallmark of this producer; having said that, it’s also the one that most obviously needs further time in the cellar to reveal everything that it has, and it has the structure to take it some years down the road. The lamb was gone by the time we got to this, but it proved to be very enjoyable to sip while talking and listening to music after dinner.
-From 10 from Tablas Creek
Reporting from Day-twah,