2012 Talley Estate Arroyo Grande Chardonnay

SKU #1152635 92 points Wine Enthusiast

 Buttered sourdough toast and a slight nuttiness kick off another excellent Chardonnay from the ever-reliable Talley. The palate is greeted with minerality that fades into an apple butter flavor alongside a pinch of cinnamon, culminating in a graceful vanilla finish.  (12/2014)

90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Another classy Chardonnay, Talley’s 2012 Chardonnay Estate Arroyo Grande Valley (10 months in 15% new French oak) gives up notions of lychee, citrus blossom, spice and brioche, with additional minerality developing with time in the glass. Medium-bodied, pure, chiseled and focused, drink it over the coming 2-4 years. I was blown away by this latest set of releases from winemaker Brian Talley. Across the board, the wines have fabulous typicity, purity and class, and are some of the greatest expressions of the varieties coming out of California today. I can't recommend them enough. (JD)  (11/2014)

90 points Vinous

 Butter, pastry, honey and yellow stone fruits meld together in the 2012 Chardonnay Estate. The 2012 is generous, soft and accessible, with pretty smoke, spice and honey overtones that add complexity. The 2012 is a great choice for drinking now and over the next few years. Rincon and Rosemary's are the main fruit sources.  (7/2014)

Connoisseurs Guide

 *One Star* Both of the Talley bottlings in this month's survey tend to firmness to the point of being a bit taut and angular, but, even if not a broadly outgoing wine, this one earns the nod as our pick for its fine complement of brisk, green-apple fruit. It will make a good foil to seafoods in the near term but should relax and become a little less edgy as it smoothes and gains a measure of needed roundness with aging.  (9/2014)

Wine Spectator

 Fresh and vibrant, with mouthwatering citrus and green apple fruit bursting at the seams. Holds a tight focus on the long, zesty finish. (Web Only-2015)

K&L Notes

From Talley : "Aromas of orange blossom, lemon oil, and crushed stone characterize this vintage of Estate Chardonnay. Subtle flavors of sweet tangerine lead to delicate notes of melon and minerals. The wine finishes elegantly with hints of vanilla cream and lemon curd. The 2012 Estate Chardonnay pairs beautifully with sautéed sea scallops or roasted chicken breast. The 2012 vintage was one of those rare years where both quality and yield were exceptional, probably the best overall since 2005. The growing season was ideal with slightly below average rainfall, moderate canopy growth and very little mildew or botrytis. Due to excellent spring weather, fruit set was ideal. Yields were about 20% above average and the resulting wines are elegant and balanced. 62% Rincon Vineyard, 29% Rosemary’s Vineyard, 5% Las Ventanas Vineyard, 4% Monte Sereno Vineyard"

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Price: $23.99
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Staff Image By: Jason Marwedel | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 4/23/2014 | Send Email
Talley continues to produce some of my favorite Chardonnays in California, and the 2012 Estate bottling is no exception. Texturally this Chardonnay displays great balance and refinement. The oak is well integrated, adding weight without becoming overtly rich. Maintaining lively focus throughout, the lovely citrus notes and mineral drive are on full display.

Staff Image By: Jim Boyce | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 4/16/2014 | Send Email
The secret is out: Talley makes incredible wine, and now we can barely keep it on our shelf. Their Chardonnay has been a favorite to sell for parties, weddings, and just about any get-together that needs both a crowd-pleasing wine and a wine that goes the extra mile for the "serious wine drinkers" of the group. Bright apple and mild toast (15% new oak) show on the nose, continuing onto the palate with hints of tropical fruit and mouthwatering acid. Once again, the texture shines in this Chardonnay, which has a creamy palate yet fresh, bright, and clean fruit flavors.

Additional Information:



- 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 (%): 14