Pale gold. Pungent aromas of poached pear, peach and honey take on a hint of buttered toast with air. Broad and fleshy on the palate, offering lush orchard and pit fruit flavors accented by a refreshingly bitter pear skin nuance. Finishes smooth and round, leaving sweet butter and peach notes behind. One of the pioneering wineries in the region, Talbott’s first vines were planted in 1982 at the Diamond T Vineyard. By the end of the ‘80s the Talbott wines were already on most wine lovers’ short lists of top California Chardonnays. The vineyards are planted heavily to California heirloom clones, the 14-acre Diamond T to Mount Eden and the 565-acre Sleepy Hollow featuring many blocks of Wente that date back to 1972. While that may not sound especially revolutionary now, it wasn’t the norm during this winery’s ascent, when Dijon clones were all the rage. For Pinot Noir, Talbott relies on the traditional Pommard clone as well as Dijon clones that were isolated specifically for cool, even cold conditions like those of the Santa Lucia Highlands. Winemaker Dan Karlsen has a long track record in the California wine industry, including stints at Dehlinger and Domaine Carneros and a decade as winemaker at Chalone before joining Talbott in 2007. (JR)
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