2011 Talley Estate Arroyo Grande Pinot Noir

SKU #1129826 93 points Vinous

 The 2011 Pinot Noir Estate wafts from the glass with exquisite aromatics and weightless, articulate fruit. Bright, nuanced and wonderfully delineated, the 2011 is all about understatement. Clean, saline notes support the bright finish. The partial use of whole clusters works very nicely here. This is a drop-dead gorgeous wine from Brian Talley.Drinking window: 2013 - 2018 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)

92 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Vivid ruby-red. Fresh red berry and rose scents show impressive clarity and energy. Sweet, pure and elegant in style, offering lively raspberry and spicecake flavors and a seamless, silky texture. Shows excellent focus and alluring spiciness on the finish, with fine-grained tannins adding shape and gentle grip. This graceful pinot is already delicious.  (12/2013)

90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2011 Pinot Noir Estate Arroyo Grande is a pretty, balanced wine that has beautiful fruit and solid complexity. Sweet red cherries, strawberry, dried spices and plenty of underbrush round out this medium-bodied, supple effort that should drink nicely for 5-6 years. Drink now-2019. 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

According to Talley Vineyards, they were spared the late spring frost that stymied Central Coast vineyards in 2011, however, "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 Estate blends 85% Rincon Vineyard Pinot Noir with 15% Rosemary's Vineyard. The Wine Advocate's Anthony Galloni is also a fan of this farmers-turned-vinters outfit: "Talley remains one of the great estates in California that has yet to be fully discovered. As a result, prices remain exceedingly fair considering the quality of what goes into the bottle. Stylistically, Talley prefers the more taut, mineral side of Chardonnay, while the Pinots tend to emphasize perfume over sheer size. Native fermentations, little new oak and minimal SO2 are all part of the gentle treatment these wines receive in the cellar." (8/2008)

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Staff Image By: Bryan Brick | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 5/23/2013 | Send Email
This delicious Pinot is a combination of 85% Rincon and 15% Rosemary’s vineyards, Talley two famous estate blocks. Pretty and full of spice cake/ginger bread aromatics and bold, expanse flavors of cassis, fennel and tar this is very complete for such a young wine. I love the way this wine unravels and rolls over the palate giving you everything it’s got. Talley nailed this one.

Additional Information:


Pinot Noir

- One of France's most legendary grapes and the grape that earned Burgundy its reputation. The parent of varietals like Pinot Gris/Grigio and Pinot Blanc, Pinot Noir is blue to violet to indigo in color with relatively thin skins, and it is said to have been cultivated in France for more than 2,000 years. At its best, Pinot Noir creates elegant wines that are filled with primary red fruit aromas and flavors while young, revealing with an array of secondary characteristics like earth, smoke, violet, truffle and game with age. The varietal is also known, perhaps better than any, for its ability to translate terroir, or a sense of place. While the best Pinot Noir still comes from Burgundy, it is being produced with increasing success in cooler climates around the world. In France, it is part of the trifecta of grapes that can go into Champagne, and it is also grown in Alsace, Irancy, Jura, Savoie, Lorraine and Sancerre. Outside of France it is produced under the names Pinot Nero and Blauburgunder in Italy's mountainous regions, as Spätburgunder in Germany and as Blauburgunder in Austria. In the US, Pinot Noir has found suitable growing conditions in the cooler parts of California, including Carneros, the Russian River Valley, the Anderson Valley, the Sonoma Coast, Monterey County, the Santa Lucia Highlands and Santa Barbara County, as well as in Oregon's Willamette Valley. In recent years, New Zealand has demonstrated its ability to interpret this hard-to-grow varietal, with successful bottlings coming from careful and attentive growers in Central Otago, Martinborough and Canterbury. Chile is also an up-and-coming region for Pinot Noir, creating fresh, fruit-forward, early-drinking and affordable Pinots from the coastal Casablanca Valley and the Limari Valley.

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 (%): 13.9