2014 Talley "Rosemary's Vineyard" Arroyo Grande Valley Chardonnay
(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)
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)
*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.
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."