Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Chardonnay: The antithesis of a White Rhone Blend

For Tablas Creek Vineyard, a Paso Robles winery founded by the Perrin family of Château de Beaucastel and importer Robert Haas, making a Chardonnay seems like the antithesis of the winery's mission: the production of wines based on Rhone varietals, inspired by the centuries-old traditions of Châteauneuf-du-Pape

So why producing a Chardonnay at Tablas Creek? Here is the story: in the early 1990s, as the Haas and Perrin families started importing Rhone varietal cuttings from Château de Beaucastel, a Sonoma winery requested a highly regarded clone of Chardonnay from Burgundy called La Vineuse. 1.5 acres were planted with the Chardonnay clone to get enough bud wood for sale. But three years later, the harvested fruit was so compelling that Tablas Creek decided to bottle that non-Rhone varietal, calling it Antithesis. Since that day, a small amount of Antithesis Chardonnay is produced every year.

Now, how is the wine? The 2004 Tablas Creek Antithesis shows a bright golden color and a pleasant nose of apple, pear, and spices. On the palate, it is medium-bodied with a creamy mouthfeel, leaving an aftertaste of brown sugar and spiced pear compote. The wine is well balanced and not oaky and buttery at all. Enjoy it with a creamy Asparagus Risotto.

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2 comments:

Jack said...

Ha! Thought I knew all of their wines; must be a Tasting Room only one. Thanks!

Catherine Granger said...

Yes, that's true. I got it from the winery. I believe it's a limited release wine.