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Talbott Vineyards

Owner(s) Robb Talbott
Web site www.talbottvineyards.com
 
Link to this site

Talbott’s Sleepy Hollow Vineyard in the Santa Lucia Highlands has become legendary for its Chardonnays. More recently, the winery’s Pinot Noirs have brightened the pinotphile’s radar with the planting of new Pinot Noir selections in the vineyard over the past two decades. This iconic California winery was founded by Robb Talbott in 1982 with planting of the original mountaintop Diamond T Estate Vineyard and the construction of the original winery in Carmel Valley. The winery’s first release of Chardonnay was in 1983. In 1994, the Talbotts acquired the Sleepy Hollow Vineyard and the property became the home to the current winery.

Winemakers Dan Karlsen and Robb Talbott guide Talbott’s Chardonnay and Pinot Noir programs. Dan Karlsen is a Pinot Noir specialist with over 30 years of winemaking experience. Wines are bottled under various labels include Case Pinot Noir, Kali-Hart Pinot Noir, Logan Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, and Talbott Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

Robb Talbott is a member of the family who moved to Carmel, California in 1950 and started the Robert Talbott Tie Company. While on traveling trips with his family to Europe, he visited the vineyards of Burgundy and developed an interest in wine. A nature lover, Robb originally built his own cabin on a remote piece of land high above the Carmel Valley floor. This property would one day become the Diamond T Vineyard, named after an antique “Diamond T” commercial truck Robb had restored. In 1981, Robb married and had three children whose names would be the nomenclature for Talbott Vineyards wines: Sarah Case, Robert Logan and Kalin Hart.

In 1982, Robb launched Talbott Vineyards with his father Robert Talbott Senior and planted his first grapes on Diamond T Vineyard. Since the founding, Robb has continued as an active sales and marketing manager while performing as Chairman of the Board for the Robert Talbott Tie Company.

The Sleepy Hollow Vineyard is located in the northern portion of the Santa Lucia Highlands AVA. This steep, hilly vineyard is split into three parcels, called North, South and West. Yields are kept low by lean soils and meticulous pruning, averaging 2.5 tons per acre.

Reviewed Wines

2012 Talbott Kali-Hart Estate Grown Monterey Chardonnay

14.3% alc., pH 3.35, TA 0.64, $20, screwcap. 100% estate grown fruit from Talbott’s Monterey vineyards. Whole cluster pressed, 15% racked to French oak barrels (5% new) and aged 9 months sur lie. · Moderate golden yellow color and clear in the glass. Aromas of lemon curd, yellow peach, kiwi and seasoned oak lead to a tasty palate of intense lemon flavor with subtle notes of yellow peach and oak. This wine aims to please with its slightly creamy mouthfeel, crisp acidity and lemon drop finish. Score: 89. Reviewed July 19, 2014 ARTICLE »

2012 Talbott Kali Hart Estate Grown Monterey Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., pH 3.64, TA 0.73, $21. 100% estate grown fruit from Sleepy Hollow Vineyard. Vines range in age from 10 to 40 years old. Aged 9 months in 10% new French oak. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Aromas of cherry pie, baking spice, balsam and season oak. Bright and crisp, with vivid cherry and strawberry fruits backed by a significant oak presence. Good attack, with some finishing length and refreshing acidity. Score: 87. Reviewed July 19, 2014 ARTICLE »

2012 Talbott Logan Sleepy Hollow Vineyard Estate Grown Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

14.8% alc., pH 3.88, TA 0.58, $25, screwcap. 100% estate grown fruit from vines ranging in age of 10 to 40 years. · Medium reddish purple color in the glass. Slightly roasted fruit character on the nose and palate. The attack features wild raspberry, strawberry, blueberry, spice and oak vanillin flavors. Modest in weight and juicy with a fairly long spiced berry finish. This wine pushes the ripeness envelope, but is pleasing and easy to drink. Score: 88. Reviewed July 19, 2014 ARTICLE »

2012 Talbott Sleepy Hollow Vineyard Estate Grown Santa Lucia Highlands Chardonnay

14.3% alc., pH 3.32, TA 0.68, $42, screwcap. Vinfied almost entirely with old Wente clone fruit planted in 1972. Sleepy Hollow is situated on 585 acres of benchland in the Santa Lucia Highlands, 13 miles south of Monterey. Whole cluster pressed, inoculated with cultured yeast in barrel, 100% barrel fermented, aged 10 months sur lie in 30% new French oak. · Moderate golden yellow color and clear in the glass. Fruit aromas of lemon and nectarine are layered with scents of earth and salinity. Very crisp and bright with a lean citrus charge, a touch of pear and white peach, and a tight lemon-driven finish. A sophisticated offering reminiscent of fine white Burgundy displaying a mineral-infused character. A superb food wine. Score: 92. Reviewed July 19, 2014 ARTICLE »

2012 Talbott Sleepy Hollow Vineyard Estate Grown Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

14.8% alc., pH 3.64, TA 0.69, $42, screwcap. 50% Martini clone planted in 1972 and 50% Dijon clones ranging in age from 15 to 20 years, all planted in the finest blocks of Sleepy Hollow Vineyard. Aged 10 months in 30% new FRench oak. · Moderately dark reddish purple hue in the glass. Nicely perfumed with fresh aromas of dark berries, plum and oak. Vibrant on the attack with delicious black cherry, black raspberry and blackberry fruits accented with plum sauce and anise. Mouth filling presence with a generous, long, slightly alcoholic finish. Score: 90. Reviewed July 19, 2014 ARTICLE »

2011 Talbott Kali Hart Estate Grown Monterey Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., pH 3.87, TA 0.59, screwcap, $21. Aged 9 months in 10% new French oak barrels. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Pleasant aromas of raspberry preserves, fennel and graham. Lighter weighted, but flavorful, featuring slightly confected red cherry, cranberry and red raspberry with a complimentary hint of oak. Softly textured and crisp on the palate with supple tannins and bright acidity. Will work beautifully at the dinner table. Score: 88. Reviewed July 21, 2013 ARTICLE »

2011 Talbott Logan Sleepy Hollow Vineyard Estate Grown Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., pH 3.71, TA 0.65, $25. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. Lively aromas of fresh black cherries, blueberries and black raspberries with a hint of oak spice. Very smooth on entry and flavorful, offering mid weight tastes that echo the aromas with accents of oak vanillin, black tea and spice. Admirable finesse, with a rousing finish that is quite generous. Score: 92. Reviewed July 21, 2013 ARTICLE »

2011 Talbott Sleepy Hollow Vineyard Estate Grown Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., pH 3.80, TA 0.60, $42. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. Lovely perfume of black cherries, black plum, balsam and spice which grabs your attention. More concentration and structure than the Kali Hart and Logan, but still very approachable and light on its feet. Beguiling flavors of dark stone fruits with a riff of oak vanillin and spice. Admirable balance with seamless tannins and a pleasing finish of extended length. Score: 95. Reviewed July 21, 2013 ARTICLE »

2010 Talbott Kali Hart Estate Grown Monterey Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., pH 3.87, TA 0.63, $21, screwcap. 100% estate grown fruit from Sleepy Hollow Vineyard, sourced from vines that range from 10 to 40 years old. This wine is made to be bright and appealing upon release. 100% de-stemmed, aged 9 months in 20% new French oak barrels. Kali Hart Pinot Noir is named after Robb Talbott’s youngest daughter. · Medium purple color in the glass. Aromas of very ripe, even roasted purple fruits. Intensely fruited with nearly over ripe flavors of blackberries and sweet plums with a note of black tea. Drinks smooth and easy with a flourish of sweet fruit on the finish. Nicely crafted and highly drinkable. Decent. Reviewed October 2, 2012 ARTICLE »

2010 Talbott Logan Estate Grown Monterey Pinot Noir

14.9% alc., pH 3.80, TA 0.65, $25. Meant to be a fruit-driven expression of the Talbott house style coupled with the complexity that Sleepy Hollow Vineyard is known for. Logan Pinot Noir is named after Robb Talbott’s son. 100% destemmed, aged 10 months in 20% new French oak barrels. · Medium reddish color in the glass. Shy aromas of blackberry jam with an oaky, earthy undertone. Middleweight sappy flavors of dark berries and plum reduction sauce with a hint of oak-driven coffee in the background. Ripe fruit tannins keep the high alcohol in check and the wine finishes with modest, pleasing length. Good (+). Reviewed October 2, 2012 ARTICLE »

2010 Talbott Sleepy Hollow Vineyard Estate Grown Monterey Pinot Noir

14.9% alc., pH 3.68, TA 0.64, $40. 50% Martini clone planted in 1972 and 50% Dijon clones ranging in age from 15 to 20 years, all from the finest blocks of Sleep Hollow Vineyard. 100% de-stemmed, aged 11 months in 20% new French oak barrels. · Medium reddish-purple color in the glass. Reserved but pleasing aromas of black fruits, violets, tar and oak. Very pretty mid-weight fruited core offering flavors of black currents and blackberries balanced beautifully with ripe tannins and acidity. Impressive freshness, polish, lift and finish. Still relatively reserved and needs time in the cellar, but this wine clearly speaks loudest of Sleepy Hollow Vineyard terroir. Reviewed October 2, 2012 ARTICLE »

2008 Talbott Cuvée Sarah Case Sleepy Hollow Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

Named after Robb Talbott’s oldest daughter. Two Dijon clones. · Deep, dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Ripe dark fruits are featured with added flavors of jujubes, cola and raisins. The fruit is slightly roasted. Decent. Reviewed April 8, 2010 ARTICLE »

2008 Talbott Logan Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

15.1% alc., pH 3.76, $25. Named for Robb Talbott’s son, Robert Logan Talbott. First vintage in 1994 was introduced in 1997. Sourced from Sleepy Hollow Vineyard. A blend of 36- year-old Martini clone and young Dijon and Pommard clones. 100% destemmed. Barrel aged for 11 months. · Deeply colored. The cherry fruits have a very ripe, roasted quality adding scents of plum pudding, berry jam and marzipan. The overripe fruit core is clothed in soft tannins making for a velvety mouth feel. I suspect the Brix was high at harvest and the wine was apparently not watered back. For fans of the ripe style of Pinot Noir. Good. Reviewed April 23, 2010 ARTICLE »

2008 Talbott Cuvée RFT Diamond T Vineyard Monterey County Pinot Noir

14.4% alc., $75 (sold out). Named in honor of Robert Talbott’s father, Robert Flook Talbott Sr. (RFT). Sourced from the 14-acre Diamond T Vineyard planted to Pommard and Dijon clones. The finest 10 barrels, aged 12 months in 100% new French oak barrels. · Medium reddish-purple color in the glass. Aromas of deep, dark plums, blueberries, roasted nuts and grilled beef. Ripely flavored and full-bodied, featuring tastes of dark berries, black currants and plum sauce with a hints of dark chocolate, chicory, and molasses. Soft in the mouth with firm, slightly rugged tannins. Unusual and distinctive. Very good. Reviewed June 24, 2012 ARTICLE »

2008 Talbott Cuvée Sarah Case Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

15.3% alc., pH 3.45, $75. Named in of Robert Talbott’s eldest daughter Sarah Case Talbott. This is the inaugural release of this Pinot Noir from the Sleepy Hollow Vineyard. Two Dijon clones from prized blocks of 10 to 15-year-old vines. Aged 12 months in 100% new French oak barrels and bottle aged for an additional 6 months. · Deep, dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Unusual but nuanced aromatics showing scents of dark chocolate, soy, cut flowers and lacquered wood. Moderately rich core of plum and cassis flavors pushing ripeness, robed in firm but caressing tannins, and displaying some persistence on the finish that leaves a little heat in its wake. Good. Reviewed April 23, 2010 ARTICLE »