Talley Vineyards

Owner(s) Brian Talley
Web site www.talleyvineyards.com
 
Link to this site

The Talley family has been farming in the Arroyo Grande Valley since 1948 when Oliver Talley established Talley Farms. Originally vegetable farmers, Oliver’s son, Don, began planting grapes in the 1970s on the farm’s steep hillsides that had been devoted to avocado trees. The first Talley Vineyards Pinot Noir was produced in 1986 from early Rincon Vineyard plantings after winemaker Steve Rasmussen was lured away from Corbett Canyon. In 1991, a modern 8,500 square foot winery was completed at the foot of the Rincon Vineyard. Brian Talley, the third generation of Talleys to graduate from University California Berkeley, assumed control of winery operations when the winery opened. Initially he worked with Rasmussen in developing the Talley style, but would eventually concentrate on the viticulture side of the family business. A barrel storage facility and tasting room was added to the property by 2002. After 20 years at the winery, an unusually long tenure among today’s often itinerant winemakers, Rasmussen was replaced by Leslie Mead who came from Bonny Doon. In July 2010, Eric Johnson, who joined Talley Vineyards in 2007, became winemaker.

Talley Vineyards now farms 190 acres of vineyards in the Edna and Arroyo Grande Valleys. There are three vineyards producing Pinot Noir: Rincon (95 total acres, 38 acres of Pinot Noir), Rosemary’s (28 total acres, 17 acres of Pinot Noir) and Stone Corral (27 acres all Pinot Noir). Single-vineyard Pinot Noirs from these vineyards are quickly sold to members of Talley's preferred customer list. All of the premium wines are fermented with native yeasts and with a few exceptions, bottled unfined and unfiltered. A second, value-priced label is Bishop's Peak. Total production of both labels is 35,000 cases annually.

A very nice tasting room is open daily in Arroyo Grande at the winery from 10:30-4:30.

Reviewed Wines

2008 Talley Vineyards Rincon Vineyard Arroyo Grande Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., 375 cases, $50. · Deep reddish-purple color in the glass. The nose is clamped down and it is difficult to coax out any fruit. Oak vanillin aroma is about all you get. Dense and tasty essence of purple fruits with firm tannins. An impressive mouthful of fruit but needs cellaring to integrate the tannins and oak and come out of its shell. Find a good steak or short ribs to accompany this wine if you open it now. Good. Reviewed November 24, 2010 ARTICLE »

2008 Talley Vineyards Rosemary’s Vineyard Arroyo Grande Valley Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., 400 cases, $60. · Deep dark reddish-purple color in the glass. More giving than the Rincon bottling offering pleasing aromas and flavors of red and black fruits especially black cherries and strawberries, all nicely spiced. Big-boned and fruit driven with healthy tannins. Needs a few years in the cellar for optimum enjoyment. Very good. Reviewed November 24, 2010 ARTICLE »

2006 Talley Vineyards Estate Arroyo Grande Valley Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., $36. 82% Rincon Vineyard fruit and 18% Rosemary’s Vineyard fruit. Yields were 1.4 tons per acre. Aged 15 months in 30% new French oak barrels. · Deep red fruits with a touch of stem and herbs. Moderately light in body, pure and bright in nature, soft and silky in texture, with pleasing balance. Fine, but no better than many entry level California Pinot Noirs priced less. Reviewed February 12, 2009 ARTICLE »

2006 Talley Vineyards Stone Corral Vineyard Edna Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., 190 cases, $50. Yields 2.6 tons per acre. Aged 16 months on the lees in 35% new French oak barrels. · This wine opens beautifully in the glass revealing scents of demure dark fruits, spice, oak and pine. Well-composed dark stone fruits and pomegranate with an earthy underpinning and notes of anise and chocolate. Ample acidity contributes to a lively finish. This wine will reward cellaring as it just doesn’t grab your attention yet. Reviewed February 12, 2009 ARTICLE »

2006 Talley Vineyards Rincon Vineyard Arroyo Grande Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., 550 cases, $70. 2.1 tons per acre. Fermented with native yeast in open top fermenters. Aged on the lees 18 months in 35% new French oak barrels. · Dark reddish-purple color. Great nose composed of black cherries, herbs and toast. Darkly fruited, earthy and primal. Dense but not jammy. Tannins are well-tamed and the finish shows lively acidity. Reserved and not as forthcoming now as the 2006 Rosemary’s but equally well crafted and very age worthy. Reviewed February 12, 2009 ARTICLE »

2006 Talley Vineyards Rosemary’s Vineyard Arroyo Grande Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., 556 cases, $70. Yield 2.2 tons per acre. Fermented with native yeast in one ton open top fermenters. Aged on the lees 18 months in 35% new French oak barrels. · Deep dark reddish-purple in color. Charming aromas of black cherries, black raspberries and black currents with touches of spice and soy and floral overtones. Richly flavored dark stone fruits with a sidecar of oak. Very silky and elegant on the palate with a refreshing liveliness on the finish. A very satisfying wine with plenty of punch but not in the least over extracted. This beauty will age very well. Reviewed February 12, 2009 ARTICLE »

2006 Talley Vineyards Rosemary’s Vineyard Arroyo Grande Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., 556 cases, $70. · Terrific aromatics picking up intensity in the glass and bursting with bright cherries and berries with a hint of oak toast. Darker stone fruits and currants on the palate veer but stop short of the ripe side. Polished and caressing in the mouth with pleasing mineral and oak notes in the background. A very stylish wine that will improve further with cellaring. POP 92, WS 94. Reviewed January 22, 2010 ARTICLE »

2005 Talley Vineyards Stone Corral Vineyard Edna Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., 2328 cases, $55. The 27-acre vineyard was planted in 2001 and is a partnership between Talley Vineyards, Kynsi, and Stephen Ross. · Dark violet in color. Capricious and juicy black cherry attack on the nose and in the mouth. Terrific grip and deft use of oak. An outstanding and harmonious wine in every way that needs some time to fully develop. Reviewed May 7, 2008 ARTICLE »

2002 Talley Vineyards Rincon Vineyard Arroyo Grande Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., 380 cases, $65. · Slight orange patina on the rim. Very “Burgundian” with a bouquet of forest floor, loamy earth, herbs and new leather. Well-herbed and earth-kissed dark fruits envelope the tongue and nicely seasoned oak compliments the fruit. The tannins are pillowy. Still very fresh and perfectly balanced to go several more years. The most “Burgundian” wine from California I tasted in 2008. Reviewed February 12, 2009 ARTICLE »