2014 Talbott "Kali Hart" Monterey County Chardonnay
Light gold. Smoky orchard and pit fruit aromas are complicated by a hint of honey and a leesy quality. Round and pliant in texture; juicy nectarine and poached pear flavors pick up a subtle ginger note with air. Brighter citrus notes come up on the supple finish, which leaves behind a note of candied pit fruits. 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)
Quite restrained on the nose, this nicely priced bottling slowly unleashes sea salt, apple peel, key lime pith and chalk aromas. It’s tightly wound on the palate with lemon skin and pear skin tartness, proving very racy in style.
Though the 2014 vintage has yet to be professionally reviewed, the 2013 earned praise from Wine Spectator: "Combines rich tiers of fig, apricot, melon and green apple with vibrant acidity and a clean, pure finish." (07/2015)