Talley Vineyards: A Quality Cornerstone of the SLO Coast

Talley Vineyards is one of the leading, quality oriented wineries in California’s newest wine appellation, the SLO Coast.  We visited the winery, toured the vineyards and tasted wines with Brian Talley, President of Talley Vineyards and Talley Farms. Brian played a lead role in the establishment of the SLO Coast AVA, which includes the Edna Valley and Arroyo Grande Valley AVAs. Our report on the SLO Coast wines and vineyards was just published. Reviews of the Talley Vineyards current releases are given below.

Oliver Talley founded the Talley Farm in 1948 in the lower Arroyo Grande Valley, with a focus on growing high quality, seasonal vegetables. His son Don was the first to plant grapes, establishing the Rincon Vineyard in 1982; he produced the first wines, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, in 1986, and built a winery at the foot of Rincon Vineyard in 1991. That same year Don’s son Brian (shown here), who had recently graduated from UC Berkeley, was named General Manager of Talley Vineyards.

Over the years, Talley wines have received numerous accolades and honors including being served at White House dinners and events.  Talley now has 190 acres of grapes in six vineyards, all SIP certified, and all wines are made from estate fruit.  Besides Rincon (43 acres), the family vineyards are: Rosemary’s (28 acres), Oliver’s (35 acres), Monte Sereno (3 acres), Las Ventanas, and Stone Corral (27 acres).  Oliver’s and Stone Corral are in the Edna Valley AVA; the other vineyards are in the Arroyo Grande Valley AVA.  Cal Poly grad Eric Johnson has been the lead winemaker at Talley Vineyards since 2010.

The estate bottlings of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are widely distributed, but most of the single vineyard bottlings are sold direct to consumer. They can be ordered online.

The Wines

Winemaker Eric Johnson

Talley Vineyard 2022 Sauvignon Blanc Edna Valley ($34) 92 The 2022 Sauvignon Blanc offers aromas of citrus with a touch of white pepper. It reveals flavors of grapefruit with light thyme notes, tangy acidity, and firm minerality. Savory notes complement citrus and minerals on the finish. Barrel and stainless steel fermented with native yeast and extended skin contact. Sourced from Oliver’s Vineyard 13.5% alc.

Talley Vineyard 2022 Gruner Veltliner Oliver’s Vineyard Edna Valley ($24) 91 Pale straw color. Mineral nose with an almost piercing, bright edge of ginger and baking spice. Softly textured and creamy with flavors like the nose and a hint of earthiness. Dry finish with modest lingering flavors. Aged 4 months in neutral oak and stainless steel. 13% alc.

Talley Vineyard 2021 Chardonnay SLO Coast ($38) 92 The 2021 Chardonnay offers aromas and flavors of orchard, stone fruit and toasty oak. It is soft and round on the palate with good intensity of flavor and balance and has a persistent finish. It is sourced from Rincon, Monte Serena, Las Ventanas, Rosemary and Oliver’s Vineyard. Hand harvested at night, whole cluster pressed, barrel fermented with indigenous yeast and aged with 25% new French oak for 11 months. 13.5% alc.

Talley Vineyard 2021 Chardonnay Oliver’s Vineyard Edna Valley ($60) 94 The 2021 Oliver’s Vineyard is the most Burgundian of the Talley Chardonnays. Very fresh and full in the mouth with outstanding richness and a refined mouthfeel. Beautiful melange of citrus and stone fruit flavors that linger on the finish. An extraordinary wine. Sourced from a 16.5-acre block of 30-year-old vines; matured 14 months in 31% new French oak. 13.7% Alc

Talley Vineyard 2021 Chardonnay Rincon Vineyard Arroyo Grande Valley ($55) 94 The Rincon Vineyard Chardonnay is richly concentrated with layered flavors of lemony citrus, stone fruit and perfectly integrated medium toasted oak. Superb balance with fresh acidity, finishing with good persistence. Matured in about one-third new French oak barrels and puncheons. 13.8% alc.

Talley Vineyard 2021 Chardonnay Rosemary’s Vineyard Arroyo Grande Valley ($55) 95 Freshly aromatic of lemon and apple followed by a fine attack and a refined mouth feel. Beautifully balanced and mouth filling with a refined finish. Clone 4 and Old Wente (not heat treated) are the backbone of the Rosemary’s Chardonnay. Barrel fermented with ambient yeast; matured 14 months in 30% new French oak. pH 3.36, 13.8% Alc

Talley Vineyard 2021 Grenache Rincon Vineyard Arroyo Grande Valley ($60) 93 The 2021 Grenache Rincon Vineyard displays a medium/light red color and aromas of red berries. It’s crisp on the attack, with medium concentration, bright acidity and a sense of purity. Finishes with firm tannins and good length. 14% alc.

Talley Vineyard 2021 Pinot Noir SLO Coast ($46) 92 The 2021 Pinot Noir offers ripe red cherry aromas with a hint of savory herbs. Silky on entry, it is soft on the palate with moderate density of flavor and an appealing purity. Easy drinking with a medium long finish. Mostly sourced from Rincon and Rosemary Vineyards, hand harvested at night, and matured in about 1/3 new French oak.

Talley Vineyard 2021 Pinot Noir Rincon Vineyard Edna Valley ($85) 94 Medium ruby red. A perfumed nose of red cherry and raspberry gives way to a refined, silky mouthfeel and pure red fruit flavors complemented by light earthy notes. Beautiful focus and purity on a long finish. Hand harvested from 36-year-old vines and fermented with about 1/3 whole clusters in stainless steel; aged 16 months in 30% new French oak. 13.7% alc.

Rosemary’s Vineyard

Talley Vineyard 2021 Pinot Noir Rosemary’s Vineyard Arroyo Grande Valley ($76) 94 The 2021 Rosemary’s Vineyard Pinot Noir is medium ruby in color and offers spicy pomegranate and cherry aromas on the nose. It reveals bright red fruit on the attack, followed by fresh and intense dark red fruit on the mid-palate with significant purity of flavor. It has outstanding concentration, excellent acidity. and is silky smooth with good acidity and a very long finish. Made in open top fermenters with ambient yeast, matured 15 months in 40% new French oak. 13.7% alc.   Rosemary’s Vineyard with its original, own-rooted Pinot Noir vines is shown here.

Talley Vineyard 2021 Pinot Noir Stone Corral Vineyard Edna Valley ($85) 93Medium ruby red. Dark red cherry aromas with a hint of savoriness. Firm mouth feel, firm acidity, and pure dark red, ripe cherry fruit flavors with a medium long finish. A youthful wine with firm tannins that would benefit from more time in bottle. Aged 13 months in 30% new French oak. 13.5% alc.

Talley Vineyard 2021 Syrah Rincon Vineyard Arroyo Grande Valley ($60) 92 This medium dark ruby Syrah displays a spicy blackberry nose and is big and full on the palate. Rich tasting and layered, it shows both black and some red fruit. Aged 20 months in neutral French oak. Sourced from the Rincon Vineyard and aged in neutral French oak. 14% alc.

Source : https://i-winereview.com/blog/index.php/2023/08/07/talley-vineyards-a-quality-cornerstone-of-the-slo-coast/

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