The 2011 Tablas Creek Vineyard Antithesis Chardonnay is Tablas Creek’s twelfth bottling of this traditional Burgundian varietal. In the early 1990s, we imported all our Rhône varietal cuttings from France. At the same time, at the request of a Sonoma winery, we imported the highly regarded small-berry, low-vigor Chardonnay clone named “La Vineuse” and planted 1.5 acres to produce a small amount of bud wood for sale. In 2000, we got our first small crop of Chardonnay.
After tasting the grapes, we thought them so compelling that we made the Antithesis Chardonnay our first non-Rhône bottling, as well as our first single-varietal wine. We have continued to produce a small amount each year since.
Our Chardonnay grapes were grown on our 120-acre certified organic estate vineyard.
Chardonnay thrives in our chalky clay soils (much like those of Burgundy), and the cool nights in Paso Robles serve to balance the warm, sunny days. We chose a terraced north-east facing block above our grapevine nursery for the Chardonnay.
The 2011 vintage was our second consecutive winter with healthy rainfall, but yields were dramatically reduced by two nights of frost on April 8th and 9th, impacting particularly the early-sprouting grapes like Chardonnay. Despite the low crop loads, ripening was slow due to a very cool summer, and harvest roughly three weeks later than normal, beginning in mid-September and not concluding until mid-November. The long hangtime and low yields combined to produce fruit with notable richness balanced by higher than usual acidity, all at low alcohol levels. The Chardonnay was harvested on September 28th and October 4th.
The Chardonnay grapes were whole cluster pressed, and fermented using native yeasts in a mix of neutral oak and stainless steel barrels to preserve the wine’s varietal and mineral character. The wine went through full malolactic fermentation in barrel. It was bottled in July 2012, unfined and unfiltered.
The 2011 Antithesis shows a rich, creamy nose, exceptionally characteristic of Chardonnay with a little sweet oak, pear and crushed rock. The mouth is rich, round and luscious with flavors of pastry cream and preserved lemon, yet firmly dry. The long, mouth-filling finish adds a briny mineral note at the end. Drink now and for the next five years.
Hundreds of you have joined us for one of our annual blending seminars over the years. If you haven’t yet, let this be the year. Partner Jason Haas and winemaker Neil Collins will lead a barrel tasting of the individual varietals (both reds and whites), and will discuss how we turn roughly one hundred components into the blends and varieties we make each year. Then, you will be set loose with graduated cylinders to produce your own blends. Details & More Events »
From now through the end of April, we will ship any wine order, of any quantiy, to anywhere we ship, for just $10. Cheers! Details & more news »
We are thrilled to announce that we've received our shipping permit from the great state of Massachusetts. Residents of the Bay State can now order wine or become VINsider Wine Club members. More shipping news »
April 15, 2015
Ten days ago, I was convinced that we were going to get clobbered by frost in the aftermath of a cold, wet Pacific storm. All the conditions were in place...And yet we made it through. It dropped into the low- to mid-30s eight of the first ten days of April... Read More »