2014 Talley "Rosemary's Vineyard" Arroyo Grande Valley Chardonnay

SKU #1261647 94 points Vinous

 (aged on its lees for 15 months in French oak barriques, 16 percent of them new) Pale gold. A highly complex bouquet evokes ripe citrus and orchard fruits, iodine, anise and white flowers, and a hint of smoky minerality emerges with air. Densely packed, penetrating and pure, offering palate-staining orange pith, pear skin, ginger and toasted brioche flavors that become livelier and spicier on the back half. Deeply concentrated yet lithe, finishing with impressive energy and very persistent floral and mineral flourishes. (JR)  (9/2016)

93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 A sensational Chardonnay from one of the great vineyards in the Central Coast is the 2014 Chardonnay Estate Rosemary's Vineyard (this site is the coolest in the lineup). It offers classic Chardonnay notes of apple blossom, salt block, buttered citrus and hints of charcoal to go with building richness and depth on the palate, integrated acidity and a great finish. Drink this complete, balanced and lengthy beauty over the coming 5-6 years, although it will keep longer if well stored. (JD)  (8/2016)

Connoisseurs Guide

 *One Star* The tightest and least outgoing of the Talley bunch and a Chardonnay that speaks more to potential than to immediate satisfaction, this one somewhat reluctantly suggests apples and a smattering of sweet oak but is presently held back by its relatively rigid architecture. Whether or not it has the essential fruity stuffing to wholly outgrow its stiffness is not at all certain, but its crisper nature makes it a useful foil in the near term with the likes of shellfish or sole, and, if we had to bet, we would place our money on its chances to grow into better with age.  (1/2017)

K&L Notes

About the producer: "For three generations the Talley family has farmed in Coastal San Luis Obispo County. The tradition began in 1948 when Oliver Talley founded Talley Farms and started growing specialty vegetables in the Arroyo Grande Valley. During the 1970s extensive planting of wine grapes began in the neighboring Edna Valley and Santa Barbara County areas. After observation and extensive analysis, Oliver's son, Don Talley, was convinced of the potential to grow high quality chardonnay and pinot noir on the steep hillsides above Talley Farms. Don planted a small test plot in 1982 on the west hillside of the Rincon Vineyard that included chardonnay, pinot noir, riesling, sauvignon blanc and cabernet sauvignon. Over time the varietal and clonal selections were refined and planting expanded to a total of 190 acres in the Arroyo Grande and Edna Valleys."

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Price: $44.99
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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.