2011 Talley Estate Arroyo Grande Chardonnay

SKU #1121163 92 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 (75% of this fruit is from the Rincon vineyard and the rest from the Rosemary's vineyard; 23% new oak): Pale gold. Fresh pear and lemon curd aromas are complemented by notes of chalky minerals and gingery spices. Fresh and focused on the palate, with very good lift and cut to its zesty citrus and orchard fruit flavors. Spreads out nicely on the finish, repeating the pear note and showing very good vivacity and persistence.  (12/2013)

92 points Vinous

 The 2011 Chardonnay Estate, from Briam Talley's estate's vineyards in Arroyo Grande, is supported by gorgeous veins of graphite, crushed rocks and minerals. An intriguing wine, the 2011 stands out for its mineral-drenched energy and length, while more typical varietal fruit notes lie in the background. Layers of fruit continue to build as the broad shoulders fill out in a Chardonnay endowed with tons of personality and pure class. Best of all, the 2011 Chardonnay Estate is a fabulous value. Drinking window: 2013 - 2019 I found much to admire in Brian Talley's 2011 Chardonnays and Pinots. The Chardonnays are all bright, pointed and intensely marked by the year, while the Pinots appear more defined by site. Either way, the wines are drop-dead gorgeous. Proprietor Brian Talley and his winemaker, Eric Johnson, describe 2011 as more consistent for Chardonnay than Pinot, which experienced a very poor set. Talley fans will also want to check out the entry-level Bishop's Peak wines, which are reviewed separately in this issue.  (7/2013)

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Lively and leaning towards the pretty, elegant end of the spectrum, the 2011 Chardonnay Estate Arroyo Grande has plenty of ripe apple, pear, baking bread and toast as well as juicy acidity and medium-bodied richness. Nicely textured, it’s a solid effort to drink over the coming 3-4 years. Drink now-2017. These knockout efforts are made by Brian Talley and were some of the most impressive Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs I tasted during my more than two week trip through the central coast. In addition to their estate offerings, their Bishop’s Peak releases reviewed here come from purchased grapes throughout the central coast and offer good typicity and drinkability for not much buck.  (8/2013)

K&L Notes

Vineyard Notes: The 2011 year began with above average rainfall in Southern San Luis Obispo County. Though we were spared the late spring frost that affected other areas, fruit set was reduced by wet spring conditions and yields were about 30% below average. One of the coolest summers on record resulted in long hang time and grapes with high natural acidity. The resulting wines balance refreshing acidity with concentrated flavors due to the low yields.

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Price: $23.99
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Staff Image By: Jim Boyce | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 3/28/2013 | Send Email
This has always been a favorite, go-to, under $25 Chardonnay to please everyone! It has the creamy, textural palate to please the bigger, richer style Chardonnay lovers yet always has the focused acidity to keep it bright and in check for fans of the leaner, not as oaky Chardonnay. Apple, pear, toast, and a light minerality make this a mouth watering wine to come back to time and time again!

Staff Image By: Sarah Covey | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 3/19/2013 | Send Email
75% Rincon and 25% Rosemary's vineyard fruit sources for this lovely, drinkable Chardonnay. Apple & toast, with a leesy richness and medium plus acidity. Very easy and delicious!
Top Value!

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- It's hard to believe that up until about 30 years ago, this extremely popular varietal hid behind the veil of geographical names like Chablis and Puligny-Montrachet. Now grown all over the world and bottled by its varietal name, Chardonnay has achieved a level of branding unlike any other wine. Surprisingly, though, what you get when you buy Chardonnay can differ greatly from country to country and even within one country, depending on the climate where it's grown and how it is vinified and aged. From fresh, crisp and minerally with apple and lemon notes to rich and buttery with tropical fruit overtones, Chardonnay runs the gamut. In France's Burgundy, Chardonnay is the source of the prized wines of Chablis, Corton-Charlemagne, Mâcon, Meursault and Montrachet. It also the foundation of exceptional Champagne, where it is blended with Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier or vinified on its own into Blanc de Blancs. It is also extremely popular in California, and is gaining popularity in Australia, New Zealand, Italy, Spain and South Africa.

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world. Click for a list of bestselling items from the United States.


- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year. For our entire selection of California wines, please visit this link.
Specific Appellation:

Santa Maria/Santa Barbara

- Santa Maria and Santa Ynez make up the two AVAs of Santa Barbara County, an area known for its natural beauty and temperate climate. The best grape-growing areas, however, are located on the very coastal reaches of these two appellations, and are cooled by ever-present fog and ocean breezes (it is even cooler and foggier here than Carneros!). As expected, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir thrive while the more inland zones lay claim to Bordeaux varietals and some Rhône blends.
Alcohol Content (%): 13.8