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.
Articles About Talbott Vineyards
2012 California Pinot Noir All-Americans Honorable Mention (9.17 12/26/2012)
2012 California Value Priced Pinot Noirs Honorable Mention (9.17 12/26/2012)
Along the Pinot Trail in California: Part I - Central Coast (9.8 6/24/2012)
California Pinot Noir from A to T (9.12 10/1/2012)
On the Pinot Trail: WOPN 2010 (8.13 4/8/2010)
Pinot Briefs (9.25 6/2/2013)
Pinot Briefs (9.6 4/18/2012)
Talbott Vineyards: Family Inspired (8.14 4/23/2010)
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 »
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