2012 Talley Estate Arroyo Grande Chardonnay
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.
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. Note, the Bishop's Peak release comes from purchased grapes from a variety of Central Coast vineyards.
*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.
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"