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.
Join founders Robert and Barbara Haas and Winemaker Neil Collins on an intimate river cruise up the Rhone Valley from Avignon to Lyon August 2-9, 2015. Daily shore tours include a behind-the-scenes visit to Chateau de Beaucastel. Details »
We are thrilled that both our 2013 Dianthus and 2013 Patelin de Tablas Rosé received 91 points from Wine Advocate, as well as recommendations from the Wine Spectator and from the New York Times. We expect both to be out of stock by August, so if you want some, act soon. Order » Browse recent press »
July 25, 2014
By Robert Haas
Two old northern Rhône wines with our roast pork loin last night reminded me of the pleasures of the Rhône River. Barbara and I are very much looking forward to joining Neil and Marcy and sharing our experience with our fellow cruise guests next August. Read More »