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Talbott Diamond T Estate Chardonnay 2011
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
I was blown away by these current releases and across the board the wines show beautiful balance and loads of class. In addition, the Kali Hart and Logan releases are serious values that should not be missed!
They founded Talbott Vineyards in 1982 along with son Robb, with the planting of the 24-acre Diamond T Estate Vineyard and the construction of the first winery in Carmel Valley.
In 1994, when presented with the opportunity, the Talbotts jumped at the chance to acquire the Sleepy Hollow property. With the addition of Sleepy Hollow Vineyard, the Talbotts enjoy the benefits of being a 100 percent estate winery, with direct control of all farming of their vineyards.
Today, Talbott Vineyards produces estate Chardonnay and Pinot Noir under four labels: Talbott, Logan, Case, and Kali Hart. Each line of wine is its own "winery within a winery," with its own distinctive style. The Talbott family plans to keep production small to maintain exacting quality standards and continue to create distinctive handmade wines with intensity, balance, and finesse.
The largest and perhaps most varied of California’s wine-growing regions, the Central Coast produces a good majority of the state's wine. This vast district stretches from San Francisco all the way to Santa Barbara along the coast, and reaches inland nearly all the way to the Central Valley.
Encompassing an extremely diverse array of climates, soil types and wine styles, it contains many smaller sub-AVAs, including San Francisco Bay, Monterey, the Santa Cruz Mountains, Paso Robles, Edna Valley, Santa Ynez Valley and Santa Maria Valley.
While the region could probably support almost any major grape varietiy, it is famous for a few. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel are among the major ones. The Central Coast is home to many of the state's small, artisanal wineries crafting unique, high-quality wines, as well as larger producers also making exceptional wines.
One of the most popular and versatile white wine grapes, Chardonnay offers a wide range of flavors and styles depending on where it is grown and how it is made. While practically every country in the wine producing world grows it, Chardonnay from its Burgundian homeland produces some of the most remarkable and longest lived examples. As far as cellar potential, white Burgundy rivals the world’s other age-worthy whites like Riesling or botrytized Semillon. California is Chardonnay’s second most important home, where both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines enjoy great popularity. Oregon, Australia and South America are also significant producers of Chardonnay.
In the Glass
When planted on cool sites, Chardonnay flavors tend towards grapefruit, lemon zest, green apple, celery leaf and wet flint, while warmer locations coax out richer, more tropical flavors of melon, peach and pineapple. Oak can add notes of vanilla, coconut and spice, while malolactic fermentation imparts a soft and creamy texture.
Chardonnay is as versatile at the table as it is in the vineyard. The crisp, clean, Chablis-like styles go well with flaky white fish with herbs, scallops, turkey breast and soft cheeses. Richer Chardonnays marry well with lobster, crab, salmon, roasted chicken and creamy sauces.
Since the 1990s, big, oaky, buttery Chardonnays from California have enjoyed explosive popularity. More recently, the pendulum has begun to swing in the opposite direction, towards a clean, crisp style that rarely utilizes new oak. In Burgundy, the subregion of Chablis, while typically employing the use of older oak barrels, produces a similar bright and acid-driven style. Anyone who doesn't like oaky Chardonnay would likely enjoy its lighter style.