The 2005 Tablas Creek Vineyard Antithesis Chardonnay is Tablas Creek’s sixth 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. Three years later, 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 (50-250 cases) 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 2005 vintage was one of nature’s lucky breaks, with excellent quality and higher-than-normal yields. The wet winter of ’04–’05 gave the grapevines ample groundwater, and a warm period in March got the vines off to an early May flowering. The summer was uniformly sunny but relatively cool, and harvest began (relatively late for us) in the 3rd week of September, giving the grapes nearly a month longer than normal on the vine. The resulting wines were intensely mineral, with good structure and powerful aromatics. The Chardonnay, as usual our earliest-ripening varietal, was harvested in one day on September 23rd.
The Chardonnay grapes were whole cluster pressed, and fermented using native yeasts in 2- to 6-year-old barrels to preserve the wine’s varietal and mineral character. The wine went through full malolactic fermentation in barrel. It was bottled in May 2006.
The 2005 Antithesis is intensely Chardonnay in character: pale gold in color, with a nose of lemon, pear, and mineral, a rich palate of spiced pear, citrus and butter, balanced by fresh acidity, and a long, clean finish.
Tablas Creek will join the 50 members of the Paso Robles Chapter of the Rhone Rangers for the 2016 Paso Robles Rhone Rangers Experience. This fun-filled and information-rich day will include a "Rhone Essentials" seminar moderated by Esther Mobley, Wine, Beer & Spirits Writer for the San Francisco Chronicle, a Vintners' Lunch, and the Grand Tasting and Silent Auction. For more information or to purchase tickets, click here.
In Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue 220) 15 Tablas wines topped 90 points, including 2014 Esprit de Tablas (93-96), 2013 Panoplie (94-96), and 2014 Panoplie (95-97). Read the review » More press »
February 11, 2016
By Robert Haas
In 2002 my son Jason, fresh from a stint in the east coast’s tech world, arrived in Paso Robles and started working at Tablas Creek, focusing initially on our marketing and increasingly on our management. Although Jason has taken over the day-to-day operations here, I'm still working because I enjoy our working together. It's fun. His leadership here and his accomplishments at the vineyard and in the community delight me. Read More »